Bernie Ecclestone has been forced to relinquish his post as a director of the Formula 1 group – although he will continue to remain as CEO – after being indicted on corruption charges in Germany.
“After discussion with the Board, Mr Ecclestone has proposed and the Board has agreed that until the case has been concluded, he will step down as a director with immediate effect, thereby relinquishing his board duties and responsibilities until the case has been resolved,” a statement issued by the company reads.
“It is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day to day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control by the Board. Mr Ecclestone has agreed to these arrangements.”
That’s hardly likely. Ecclestone wouldn’t have wanted to relinquish control of his empire, but clearly the company owners, CVC Capital Partners, had no choice given the latest legal news that has come up.
That Ecclestone will still remain as CEO is interesting in itself, and it certainly indicates that CVC – which has contributed nothing to the sport since it assumed ownership – has very little idea on a way forward.
It will certainly need to start some proper planning – if it hasn’t already – les Ecclestone be permanently unavailable after his court hearing.
In the interim, all major contracts handled by the Formula 1 group will be overseen by the company’s chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, and his deputy, Donald Mackenzie.