Canada’s Woodbine Entertainment loses longstanding CEO

Nick Eaves, president and chief executive of Canadian horse racing operator Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG), is to step down from his role in March after more than 20 years with the business. Eaves has served as CEO since 2010, having taken on the role with a mandate to establish a new and stable foundation for the company, its role in the horse racing industry, and set it up for future growth.

The company said that with this in place, this is the right time to transition to new long-term leadership.

He will be replaced on March 31st on an interim basis by WEG chairman Jim Lawson, with the board to consider all options as it looks to find a permanent replacement for Eaves.

During his tenure, Eaves signed a five-year horse racing partnership plan with the province of Ontario, through which WEG serves as head of the Standardbred Alliance, and operates all off-track operations across the province.

WEG has also made significant progress in negotiating a new long-term partnership with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to integrate horse racing and gaming products at its facilities.

Having spent more than two decades with WEG, Eaves was promoted to the role of president in 2006 before taking on the CEO role four years later.

“As I look back on the last 20 years, I am very proud to have been part of a team that was able to accomplish so many great things for WEG and in our industry,” he said of his time with the operator. “Looking forward, I have confidence that the organization is pointed in the right direction and know the current leadership team will continue to grow and improve on the model we have developed. “

“I want to thank all of my WEG colleagues for their hard work and collaboration over the years,” h added.

Lawson described Eaves as having played a major role in WEG’s evolution and success over the past two decades.

“The board and I want to thank Nick for his dedication, passion, and commitment, and wish him all the best as he embarks on the next stage of his life and career,” he said. “As we look forward, now that we have stability we must work to achieve long-term sustainability for WEG and the horse racing and breeding industry and we will continue to put all of our resources towards that end.”

WEG owns the Woodbine and Mohawk Raceways, both in Ontario, and also operates the HorsePlayer Interactive (HPI) wagering platform.

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