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SBD Global/November 27, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

F1 Plans For Future Without Bernie Ecclestone, Interim CEO Plan Already In Place

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F1 is conducting detailed preparations to remove F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, according to Neudecker & Ott of the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG. If Ecclestone is charged with bribery, an interim CEO will take over the F1 business. Ecclestone "could face bribery charges for his involvement in the bribing of former German BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky." Should Ecclestone be charged, the board of directors of CVC-owned Delta Topco, which is the majority owner of the Formula One Group, wants to meet on the Channel Island of Jersey. Sources revealed that "the board has already developed a plan to appoint an interim CEO from within its board." A decision about the long-term future of F1's leading management will be made after the end of a possible trial in Munich, Germany. An indictment of Ecclestone "is expected within the next several weeks" (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 11/26).

NO PLANS TO RETIRE: In London, Milmo & Sylt reported Ecclestone insisted that "he had no plans to retire, but warned that the sport risks being thrown into turmoil when he decides to give up the wheel because of the likelihood he will be followed out the door by key personnel and several races." Ecclestone said, "One day, I'm not going to be there, and one of the biggest problems is I've got really, really good relationships with the race promoters. A few of them said to me, 'if you're not there, we're not there.' That's what the danger is. They feel that they trust me and wouldn't want to let me down. That's probably a very important issue. I think about retiring but I'm not going to do it. What would I do?" Asked about the accusations against him, the 82-year-old said he is "absolutely not guilty" of paying a bribe and the banker had been "shaking him down" (INDEPENDENT, 11/24).
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