Ecclestone Preparing For Eventual Exit As F1 CEO, But Position Safe For Now
Private equity firm CVC Capital said that F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "will not be removed from his position" despite facing a bribery trial during the summer, according to Christian Sylt for the London GUARDIAN. A CVC source said, "We don't have any changes planned at the moment." Ecclestone "recently won a related civil case in the high court in London." After the judge's ruling, Ecclestone insisted it was "business as usual" and said that he "would not be stepping down despite the lack of public backing from CVC." A source said that CVC "had decided to base its decision on the outcome of the trial in Munich, rather than the high court ruling." The source believed F1 "had not been dented by the cases" (GUARDIAN, 3/2). In London, Roger Blitz reported Ecclestone is " preparing the ground for his eventual departure" from F1. In "a further sign of the pressure on him," Ecclestone "also expressed frustration" at remarks by a High Court judge in a $140M civil action, which "could have a bearing on the Munich trial." Ecclestone: “I’ve been spending time on this [civil] case and to spend time on Munich I am not able to give what I normally would do, 24/7, to the business. I’ve been looking, over the last few years, for somebody who can join me to assist with what I have to do. I will eventually be in a position, if I decide to retire -- or unfortunately become dead -- to have someone to step into my shoes.” Potential successors to Ecclestone "are in short supply." Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, who is close to Ecclestone, "is being pushed in some quarters." Any successor "needs to have the blessing of F1’s most important team, Ferrari," and its powerful President Luca di Montezemolo (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/3).