Bernie Ecclestone announced the news himself that he has been removed from his post as CEO of Formula One, being replaced by Liberty Media’s Chase Carey.
The Official confirmation has arrived earlier than expected, with large media outlets speculating that Ecclestone would make an announcement later in the week or even next month. It marks a significant change given Ecclestone’s 40-year association with the sport. He has been without doubt a controversial figure who has without question turned the sport into a global phenomenon.
Bernie Ecclestone said,
“I was deposed today. This is official, I do not run the company any more. My position has been taken by Chase Carey.
My new position is one of those American terms — it’s something like an honorary president. I have this title now, even though I don’t know what it means.
My days in the office will be getting quieter now. Maybe I will attend a grand prix sometime in the future. I still have many friends in Formula One and I still have enough money to afford to attend a race.”
– Bernie Ecclestone
The statement almost foreshadows the reason he has been deposed. Whilst his acumen for adding to the calendar, marketing the sport globally and successfully has turned Formula One into an International machine, his confusion regarding the American angle is somewhat ironic.
Liberty are looking in a different direction to Ecclestone going forward, dipping into areas such as social media reach that Ecclestone has broadly shunned in the past. It highlights a businessman of handshakes who peaked in past times finding it difficult to acclimatise or embrace new media and the potential fan-interaction that comes with it.
Liberty’s intentions are to preserve historic venues, but boost Formula One’s presence state-side, with races in Las Vegas and Los Angeles on the table.
Ecclestone has been a controversial figure, his highs from an era long gone deposed by a lack of acceptance from the younger following. Say what you will of Ecclestone… (Insert prehistoric insult here), but his impact on the sport has been greater than any singular being in Formula One’s history.