Lisa Cheban | 28 April, 2023 12:08 | Last update on: 28 April, 2023 12:08
Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine, has revealed he will vacate his position this fall at an undetermined time after holding the position for eight years. Lawson may continue working with Woodbine in an unspecified senior capacity. Between 2013 and 2019, he served as the chairman of the CFL board and twice as the league’s acting commissioner.
Speaking about his retirement, Lawson said it is a beautiful honour and enthusiasm to serve as the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. The CEO added that he had enjoyed his time at the organization’s helm and appreciated the fantastic people he has worked with, although it’s now time to be around his family more often.
“Having expanded our scope and reputation as a world leader in dual-breed horse racing while working meticulously and respectfully to drive new revenues that will continue to support the Ontario horse-racing industry for decades to come,” Lawson continued.
That’s not all that the official said. Lawson expressed confidence that Woodbine Entertainment is on a path to a solid and sustainable future. He anticipates continuing working with Woodbine in an undetermined senior capacity. Lawson commented that his time at the company transformed it into a multi-dimensional organization.
In 2018, Lawson was elected by the Ontario Racing Commission directors to serve as board chairman. He has also served as the Canadian Jockey Club’s chairman.
One of his highest achievements as Woodbine’s CEO is leading the company through the epidemic amid all the cancellations, delays, and restrictions. It’s an open secret that the CEO is passionate about creating methods for Woodbine to exploit its close to 700 acres of property.
This summer, a $1 billion resort with a contemporary Vegas-style casino is planned to debut next to Woodbine Racetrack. The casino will also house a 400-room hotel, dining options, and a 5,000-seat live entertainment complex.
Last year, Lawson revealed Woodbine Entertainment’s intention to build a national training facility for the Canadian football team. Woodbine has prepared a piece of land to develop stadiums and a centre of excellence for the game in Canada.
Commenting on Lawson’s exit, Woodbine’s board of directors chair, High Mitchel, thanked Jim for his firm and impactful leadership to Woodbine Entertainment and Ontario’s horse racing industry over the last 15 years. Michel praised Jim for his significant contributions that will surely help the business and industry for a long time.
“As for Woodbine’s next leader, the board’s Succession Committee is working diligently and is confident we will be successful in finding the next CEO who will continue to build on our positive momentum,” the chair added.