|Friday, December 04, 2015||Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326|
|Zeitlin to Step Down as President/COO of Equibase Company|
Hank Zeitlin, who has served as president and chief operating officer of Equibase Company since April 2007 and guided the company to new heights in fan engagement, plans to step down effective February 29, 2016.
The announcement was made today by Ian D. Highet, chairman of the Equibase Management Committee and secretary-treasurer of The Jockey Club.
“Over the course of the past 25 years, Equibase has introduced a wide variety of products and services to help grow the sport of Thoroughbred racing, and Hank Zeitlin has played a major role in the creation and distribution of virtually all of them,” Highet said. “We are immensely grateful for all of his contributions and look forward to continuing our relationship through a transition period and possibly beyond that.”
Highet said that the Equibase Management Committee would begin a search with the goal of naming a successor to Zeitlin during the first quarter of 2016.
Equibase Company is a general partnership of subsidiaries of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations and The Jockey Club. The company was formed in 1991 to provide the Thoroughbred racetracks of North America with a uniform, industry-owned database of racing information and statistics. In 1998, Equibase became the sole data collection agency and provider of racing data to the Daily Racing Form. The unlimited access to racing data afforded by the creation of Equibase was critical to enabling the TRA and its member racetracks to develop full-card, merged-pool simulcasting.
Zeitlin joined Equibase as vice president of marketing and sales in January 1998, following three years as chief executive officer of the Hammond Communications Group. He was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of Equibase in January 2003 and then named president and chief operating officer four years later.
Under Zeitlin’s leadership, Equibase broke new ground in several areas. The company greatly increased the availability of free data and information for fans and horseplayers alike, it developed and expanded the Stats Central section of the Equibase website, it greatly increased the presence of racing data on mobile devices including smart phones, and it kept fans and media apprised of industry and individual performance though the expansion of its Virtual Stable notification service. These efforts have resulted in the electronic platforms of Equibase serving an average of more than 2 million pageviews per day. The company’s performance during this time has also generated resources that the partnership has reinvested in the industry.
“Equibase has achieved and, in many cases, surpassed all of its original goals regarding the quality and timeliness of its data collection and distribution, and Hank Zeitlin deserves a good deal of credit for that,” said Ogden Mills Phipps, the former chairman of The Jockey Club and a member of the Equibase Management Committee since it was formed. “With guidance from [past Equibase chairmen] Ted Bassett, Alan Marzelli, Nick Nicholson and, most recently, Ian Highet, Hank was at the helm for several important technological transformations that helped Thoroughbred racing keep pace with other major spectator sports. The success of the company under his leadership also once again reaffirmed the benefits of industry collaboration.”
“Through Hank’s deft and prescient leadership, Equibase has been extremely successful in responding to the business challenges imposed by changing consumer habits and technology, while also capably serving the needs of the individual partner racetracks,” TRA Executive Vice President Chris Scherf said. “His foresight and informative reports of general business trends at every TRA board meeting fostered complete confidence in the management of Equibase. The performance of the company during a time of decreased live racing and attendance has been viewed by the TRA as nothing less than exceptional.”
Equibase Company, now in its 25th year of existence, began full-scale operations on Jan. 1, 1991, and, through a network of chartcallers, collects past performance information from all Thoroughbred tracks in North America. Through its website, mobile platform and mobile applications, Equibase offers a comprehensive array of free statistical information as well as premium handicapping products and reports in support of the North American Thoroughbred racing industry. For more information, visit equibase.com.