Tom Gamel, one of Hollywood Park's major shareholders, said Thursday that he has resigned from the board of directors of the Hollywood Park Operating Co. and is voting his proxies for R.D. Hubbard in Hubbard's battle to unseat Marje Everett as chief executive officer of the track.
Gamel, who owns 5.6% of the stock, said he will continue to serve on the board of Hollywood Park Realty, which controls the track's property and leases it to Hollywood Park Operating.
Gamel's proxy declaration was not surprising, since he and Hubbard once belonged to a group that tried to buy Hollywood Park. Last summer, Gamel unsuccessfully tried to get Hubbard appointed to the operating company's board. Hubbard, Hollywood's largest stockholder, owns 9.9%, the most allowed one party under the track's Real Estate Investment Trust arrangement.
Sources close to the firm tallying consent cards Hubbard has sent to shareholders indicate that he has more than the 50% plus one vote needed to replace the Everett-led operating company board with his slate of directors. Any result is tentative, however, because the shareholders also have until midnight Monday to cancel their original votes.
"I voted my proxies simply because I feel that Hubbard is better suited to run the track than Everett," said Gamel, a horse owner who lives in Denver. "It was clear that I had no place on the operating company's board. I've been excluded from a lot of the things they've been doing lately. In effect, they've fired me from the board, which I think is totally wrong. I also wanted off the board because I don't want to be subjected to any legal actions that might be taken against the company."