F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone Neither Confirms, Nor Denies, Successor Rumors
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed -- but not denied -- speculation that supermarket chain Sainsbury CEO Justin King "could take over his place in the driving seat of Formula One," according to Christian Sylt of the London GUARDIAN. King "is a motor racing fan, and there has been regular speculation that he could be a candidate to take over the wheel of Formula One." Ecclestone: "I've no idea whether the boss of a company like Sainsbury's could do my job. Maybe he could." King has insisted that "he has no plans to leave Sainsbury" but the speculation about him joining F1 has been fueled by questions over Ecclestone's future. Ecclestone is 82 and no successor "has been formally groomed to take over from him." This is not the first time that a retailer "has been linked with a top job at Formula One." Former Marks & Spencer CEO Stuart Rose "was tipped to take over" as chairman in '11 after German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky was arrested. However, "he ended up being replaced" by CVC co-Founder Donald Mackenzie (GUARDIAN, 4/1).