WARRNAMBOOL Racing Club will start a nation-wide search for a new chief executive officer following the resignation of Peter Downs on Thursday.
Downs will take up the job as Moonee Valley Racing Club general manager for racing in six weeks after working in the key role at Warrnambool for nearly four years.
WRC chairman Nick Rule said Ashlee Scott, the operations manager for the club, would fill the role on an interim basis until a new CEO was found.
Downs' departure leaves the racing club in an awkward position as works on a $4.9 million grandstand redevelopment are well underway and are due to be finished in early April next year but Rule said it would manage the situation.
"We've got very competent people in place to make sure the redevelopment goes ahead without any problems," he said.
"We'll be advertising the position Australia-wide in an attempt to find the best person for the job but Ashlee will fill the role in the interim.
"Peter's achievements have been numerous, the most outstanding include the commencement of our Matilda Room extension, the creation of our on course Equine Vet Clinic, our horse pool and the installation of a permanent super-screen TV.
"His legacy other than his infrastructure achievements has been the great administration team he has built for the future.
"I have every confidence that this legacy will continue to grow our wonderful club."
Downs said he was grateful for the opportunities Warrnambool had offered him.
"I am proud of what we have been able to achieve over the four years I have been with the club," Downs said.
"I am very satisfied with the race-day initiatives and improvements which have been made during this time, including the creation of The Jericho Cup, Woodford Cup shift to New Year's Eve and of course the continued success of the TAB May Racing Carnival.
"While the timing of my departure isn't as I would have wished, I am very confident in the team's ability to continue to implement our strategic direction and keep delivering as the best country club in Australia.
"I will always remember my time at the Warrnambool Racing Club with great affection."
Downs thanked the club's committee and staff for their help and support.
He starts his new job at Moonee Valley on September 3.
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