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The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has appointed Simon Love as Chief Executive Officer. The appointment is effective immediately.

Mr Love has held the position of VRC Executive General Manager Corporate, Finance and Strategic Initiatives since 2010 and previously held executive roles in the gaming industry with Crown Limited (now Crown Resorts) and Tabcorp and in the finance sector with Macquarie and ANZ Bank.

He replaces David Courtney, who left the job last year due to ill health, and Julian Sullivan, who has been acting CEO.

VRC Chairman Michael Burn said the Club secured Mr Love after a comprehensive executive search, which delivered many outstanding internal and external candidates.

“Before our process had been completed, Simon had accepted an offer for another CEO position, but we are delighted he decided to accept the VRC role when it was offered,” Mr Burn said.

“Simon Love has had a leadership role with the VRC for more than four years, during which time he has overseen a significant technology transformation and key elements of the Club’s Masterplan,” Mr Burn said.

“Simon has a passion for racing and I am confident he is the best person to deliver growth for both the Club and the industry. Our board is looking forward to working closely with Simon.”

Mr Sullivan has agreed to stay on in a senior executive role until the end of 2015.

Simon Love said he welcomed the opportunity to work with the chair and board leading the team that would focus on delivering the next phase of growth for the VRC.

“Victorian racing faces unique issues with opportunities around media rights and increased competition from interstate and overseas clubs and other forms of entertainment,” Mr Love said.

“The VRC has a strong and proven management team to tackle these challenges and deliver a great outcome. We have the runs on the board and big plans for the future.

“I am delighted that the board has shown faith in my ability to take on the role of CEO. I am also pleased that Julian has offered me his support and following his resignation has agreed to stay on in an executive role for the rest of the year. He is one of the most respected and knowledgeable executives in Australian racing and we work well as a team.”

Michael Burn said he also was grateful that Mr Sullivan would remain for the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“I am personally indebted to Julian, who has been a long term employee of the VRC and an exceptional leader in the racing industry. Julian epitomises the VRC’s core values. We will be sorry to see him go at the end of the year; we understand his reasons and wish him the very best in both his personal and professional life,” Mr Burn said.

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