Mark D. Miles was named chief executive officer of Hulman & Company today in a move intended to allow Jeff Belskus, who currently serves as CEO of several Hulman & Company businesses to focus his attention on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IZOD IndyCar Series.
“We are pleased to add Mark to the executive leadership at Hulman & Company,” said Mari Hulman George, IMS chairman of the board. “The combination of his international sports experience with public and private corporations, make him an exceptionally positive match for our business. His services as a member of the Hulman & Company board of directors has prepared him to contribute to the organization from day one.”
It is an honor to join Hulman & Company.
Miles is a well-known executive in the business and sports world. On the business side, he has led Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, a consortium of the leading companies in central Indiana working with the premier university research institutions to develop economic growth in the region. Also, he has served on the board of The Pantry, one of the largest independently operated convenience store chains in the country with more than 1,500 stores in 13 states. Going back in time, he was executive director of corporate relations for Eli Lilly and Company.
On the sports side of his background, he led the Pan American Games in 1987 and was chairman of the Super Bowl Committee for the 2012 Super Bowl, which was held in Indianapolis and gained high praise for its successful run. And for 15 years, he headed the ATP Tour, the men’s international professional tennis tournament governing body.
Said Miles, “It is an honor to join Hulman & Company, known for its tradition of success. I’m excited about joining the team and contributing my lifetime learning from international professional sports, large-scale major sports events and business environment. I have worked for companies with global profiles and brands, and I’m happy to continue that on behalf of the Hulman-George family and its significant business interests.
“I want to say thanks to the Hulman-George family. For me growing up here, they have been Hoosier legends, synonymous with racing around the world. This place across the street (the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), in particular, is so special, so much a part of our identity, and that family has been inextricably linked obviously to motor racing and to IMS and the IndyCar Series.
“Jeff (Belksus) has a lot on his plate, and I hope and believe that I can make a contribution to his being successful.”
Miles went on to discuss his background in sports and business, letting everyone know that he has the capacity to lead the Indiana-based company. He also professed that he will spend his upcoming months learning more about the operations of the various companies involved. Also, he plans to gain as much knowledge as possible about IndyCar, its business relationships and the inherent intricacies of the high-profile series.
“I want to help Jeff. He’s done a remarkable job on this thing,” he added. “As I look at 2013 for IndyCar, I think all the building blocks are in place, and I have no doubt that with Jeff’s leadership, the serves and the events at IMS will proceed forward without a hitch, and that will be a starting point to grow it all.”
Belskus will continue as president of Hulman & Company, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and interim CEO of IndyCar. Over the last 25 years, he has served if many senior management roles at Hulman 7 Company operations and has been its CEO for 13 months.
According to Belskus, he’s eager to be working closely with Miles. “I’m personally excited about it for several reasons,” he said. “Mark is a great addition to our team, and I’m very fortunate to have an opportunity to work with someone like Mark, and with the skill set he brings and the background he brings, I’m just very pleased.”
Belskus said all systems are go for 2013 but he admitted there are issues to be addressed, such as with Lotus and engine supply along with tire suppliers for the long term. Also, he wants to get a better handle on the ladder system and the Indy Lights series, including the cars and chassis options to be offered.
He did compliment the work done by outgoing IndyCar leader Randy Bernard, but indicated that a fresh perspective is now being put in place along with a new management team. He praised the TV partners that IndyCar has in place and said they are looking for ways to improve upon the TV ratings.
Also, he indicated the 2013 schedule is firm but if there’s an opportunity to add a formidable event, it could be considered with more attention to be given to the year 2014 and beyond. The gaps in the schedule are somewhat of a concern to the new leadership team.
Regarding the hire of a permanent IndyCar leader, Belskus stated. “(I am) still interim, and we have not defined a search, and I’m CEO of the IndyCar Series and intend to function in that role going forward.”
Miles confirmed that the IndyCar Series is not for sale. “The board is very clear about that,” he stated. “We just think it’s so important that the most powerful event on the series and the series itself are marketed, promoted, scheduled and run together. At this juncture, it is not a question of money. We’re prepared to make investments.”
The two senior executives repeatedly mentioned they will be working as a team and thought they could draw upon each other’s talents and know-how to make things happen.