28 Feb 2014 11:29am

Comings and goings at Newbury Racecourse

More changes at Newbury Racecourse as it continues the remodelling of its boardroom structure last September

Joint managing director and ICAEW member Sarah Hordern has stepped down with immediate effect although she has agreed to conduct a handover period as well as act as a consultant to the racecourse property redevelopment division until 11 April.

She has been with the company, which is quoted on the ISDX market, for 15 years, during which time she was finance director and then joint MD.

Commenting on her decision to leave, chairman Dominic Burke said, “We are extremely grateful for the key role she has played in ensuring the successful management of the company, especially its vital property redevelopment and recent resolving of the shareholder base, which ensure its long term future.”

In September, the racecourse announced that the board had decided to appoint a chief executive rather than having the two joint managing directors it had had since 2008. “The board believes that a more traditional structure of a sole chief executive is best suited to the company as it moves into the next stage of implementing its strategy to redevelop the racecourse as a year-round racing, entertainment and events business,” it said.

In December, the company appointed Julian Thick, former managing director of Aintree, Sandown and Kempton Park racecourses and a board member of Jockey Club Racecourses, as its new CEO, at which point Stephen Higgins, the other joint managing director, stood down with immediate effect.

Newbury has also announced that it has promoted Claire Spencer, who is also an ICAEW member, from group financial controller to finance director. She has been with the company for three years.

Julia Irvine


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