Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn has moved one step closer towards becoming the first-ever female Team Principal in Formula 1 history, with team founder Peter Sauber today announcing that he had awarded her a one-third stake in his eponymous team.
Indian-born and Austrian-raised Kaltenborn has been a figurehead in the Sauber F1 team since 2000, when her initial involvement was as a legal representative for the Fritz Kaiser Group, a minor shareholder in the team in the late 1990s.
She headed the Swiss team’s legal department following Kaiser’s departure that year, and in 2001 she was appointed to the team’s management board.
In early 2010 – following the team’s return to ‘independent’ status when BMW pulled out of the sport – she was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer.
“When BMW pulled out of Formula One in 2009, Monisha Kaltenborn was instrumental in the team’s survival and since then she has been doing outstanding work in her capacity as CEO,” team founder Peter Sauber said in today’s announcement.
“Transferring one third of the stake to her represents an important step for me in providing continuity. My desire is to ensure that the company continues to be led as I would want over the long term,” the 68-year-old added, hinting that he intends to relinquish his role as Team Principal in the near future.
“Monisha Kaltenborn and my son Alex, who joined the company as Marketing Director in 2010 and has since also been a member of the Board of Management, both embrace this aim. It means we can offer our employees a positive outlook for the future.”
“For me this step is a mark of the greatest possible trust, which I will do everything in my power to justify,” Kaltenborn added.
Herr Sauber retains ownership of the remaining two-thirds’ shareholding in the team.