November 1, 2017
Darren Pearce has today announced his resignation from the ATC after twelve years in leadership roles, including as founding Chief Executive of the ATC.
Mr Pearce will farewell the Club and its Members at the Annual General Meeting at Royal Randwick on 30 November 2017.
Mr Pearce today thanked the Sydney racing industry for its support and friendship, saying it had been “a highly satisfying journey’’.
Australian Turf Club Chairman Laurie Macri congratulated Mr Pearce for his dedicated service and long list of achievements.
“The ATC thanks Darren for his great passion to improve Sydney racing, and for the many milestones he has been closely involved with as ATC CEO,’’ Mr Macri said.
“The ATC now has a balance sheet and income statement that positions it to continue to evolve and invest for the long-term success of Sydney racing.
“This would not have been possible without Darren’s strong financial management.”
Mr Pearce said the success of the inaugural $10 million TAB Everest was the perfect timing to crown a successful career at the ATC.
“For a racing fan, it has been a tremendous privilege to lead the ATC through a period of positive change, and for it to now be considered one of the world’s leading racing businesses.
“It’s a great turnaround story that is set to get better as the Club further invests in tracks, stables and facilities.
“Success is a team game and I must thank the ATC and predecessor Boards I have worked with for their guidance and encouragement. As a young CEO, I have learnt so much from leaders such as Ron Finemore, John Cornish, Michael Crismale and Laurie Macri.
“I also acknowledge Racing NSW and in particular Peter V’landys for his bold vision, leadership and friendship over so many years. The partnership forged between the ATC and Racing NSW has allowed Sydney racing to accelerate its growth and development.
“It has been very special to me to lead a wonderful, hardworking team at the ATC who help deliver our racing, Member and customer services year-round and to world class standards. I’m going to miss working with such a great team of people.”
Mr Pearce reflected on his journey in racing administration after starting as CFO of the Australian Jockey Club in 2005.
“For the first few years at the former AJC there were many challenges including TV rights and split vision, Equine Influenza, World Youth Day logistics, concrete cancer in the Royal Randwick grandstand, track failures and the Global Financial Crisis,” Mr Pearce said.
“Things had to change and after securing the merger of the AJC and STC and a period of financial consolidation and debt reduction, the Club was strongly positioned to go forward.
“Racing NSW’s racefields legislation and tax parity victories, and a new media rights deal positioned the ATC for an unprecedented period of growth and investment. Record prizemoney increases, The Championships and now the TAB Everest are the result of many years of hard work.
“The ATC is also raising capital for its investment phase through development of surplus and non-core assets including the King Street site at Canterbury Park and acquisition of registered club businesses to diversify revenue streams.
“On my final day at the Annual General Meeting I can thank ATC Members for their support. ATC Members are incredibly passionate about their club. My own passion for racing is as strong as ever and I will also continue to be involved as an ATC Member, owner, racegoer and hobby breeder.
“I am really proud of the many sponsors, businesses, charity and community partners of the ATC and acknowledge the significant contribution they make to the ATC and racing.
“Sydney has an amazing depth of horses and horse people whose dedication to their stables and thoroughbreds has to be admired. It’s been a pleasure to get to know so many trainers, jockeys and stable staff and I wish them the best for the future.’’
Mr Pearce said above all he thanked his wife Michelle and two young children for their support through long hours and many weekends when racing business had taken precedence.
The ATC Board has appointed James Heddo (EGM Racing Services and Membership) and Matt Galanos (Chief Financial & Operations Officer) as acting joint CEOs, effective 1 December 2017.
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