Racing and casino operator Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) has confirmed that Robert Evans will retire as executive chairman effective September 30 but will remain as the non-executive chairman of CDI’s board of directors.
The company completed the senior executive leadership transition, which began in August 2014 when William Carstanjen was named as CDI’s CEO, a position Evans had held when he joined CDI in August 2006.
CDI saw significant growth during Evans’ nine-year tenure, as the company invested about $1.8b in four major growth initiatives: Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Week; Advance Deposit Wagering via the acquisitions of AmericaTAB, Bloodstock Research Information Service (BRIS) and Youbet.com which led to the 2007 launch of TwinSpires.com; casino gaming; and mobile and online casual games via the acquisition of Big Fish Games.
Meanwhile, Merkur Gaming Americas has appointed Charles Hiten as new managing director effective this month, following the sudden passing of Jens Halle in May.
As managing director of Merkur Gaming Americas, Hiten will be responsible for the sales activities of the Gauselmann Group for North, Central and South America. Hiten will continue with the process begun by Halle by further consolidating and expanding sales activities in America. He will work from the Florida office, from where he will also handle the activities in the Caribbean and cruise ship markets.
“With Charles Hiten, we have gained a former colleague and close friend of Jens Halle for this important key position on the American continent. He is an acknowledged expert in the industry and will enrich Merkur Gaming with his wealth of knowledge and experience”, says Jürgen Stühmeyer, Sales Director for the Gauselmann Group. “I’m convinced that Charles Hiten will successfully continue our company strategy in the American market.”
Hiten has more than 15 years in the gaming industry and held senior positions in international companies such as Novomatic.