Churchill Downs Inc. named Bill Carstanjen on Thursday as the racing and casino company's 12th CEO, effective immediately. Carstanjen, 46, joined Churchill in July 2005 as general counsel and chief development officer.
Carstanjen has led the company's diversification strategy into online wagering on Thoroughbred racing via TwinSpires.com, including the acquisitions of Youbet.com, AmericaTab, and Bloodstock Research Information Systems; the growth of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby events; and into regional casino gaming, according to a Churchill news release.
Carstanjen succeeds Bob Evans, who will remain chairman of the board. Evans will continue his full-time daily involvement, focusing on strategy, acquisitions, among other things.
"I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead Churchill Downs," Carstanjen said. "Over the last several years, we have transformed Churchill Downs into a diversified growth company while continuing to strengthen and invest in our traditional horse racing business. Today, CDI is better positioned strategically and operationally, and is stronger financially and organizationally, than perhaps at any time in its 140-year history.
"I'm excited about our terrific team and the future of our racing, gaming and online businesses and new businesses we may yet enter."
In addition, Bill Mudd has been promoted to president and chief financial officer, responsible for operations at race tracks and gambling properties, except for Churchill Downs Racetrack.