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GP Week : Issue 217
F1 >>> BUsinEss Wouldn’t the chairman be the one leading the group finding a replacement so he would have to exclude himself? With Donald [Mackenzie, CVC Capital Managing Partner] being the major shareholder I suppose in the end he is probably in a position to get rid of the chairman if he wanted to. So, if the chairman said ‘we need this guy’ and it didn’t suit Donald I’m sure he would say you had better go away with him because I want somebody else. So in the end it would be Donald assisted by the board. I don’t think Donald would take any decision the board didn’t approve of. Do you think CVC will stay? Yes. They still control the company. They keep talking about a public offering. I think it would have gone through before but at that time all the markets were a bit strange. It’s not on the agenda. Are sacha [Woodward-Hill, F1’s legal director] and Duncan [Llowarch, F1’s chief financial officer] capable of running the business in your absence? They would be able to easily follow through what we have put in place. Could sacha be anointed as a successor? I feel perhaps, if I was controlling the board, like Donald does, if I had all the votes, I would probably say it would not be a bad idea to have a woman as chief executive. I don’t know what a chairman does actually. Peter [Brabeck-Letmathe] knew what was going on and controlled the board. I used to talk to Peter. Peter would give me a call and say ‘I have heard something’ and I would straighten it out. I mean, he didn’t effectively run the company. Sacha has been put in a different position now. She is chairman of these different ethics committees and things. She is still chief legal officer as well. She is doing more but not needing to be as close. Do you think Donald would fancy a go at doing your job? No. They buy and sell companies. Donald is on the board of a lot of companies but it is a different thing. I think the problem here is that this company is a bit unique to the other companies they bought. That’s why it requires that hands on direct approach? Yes. I run the company as if it belonged to me. Other than Mr Walsh coming in as chairman, are there any other changes you foresee? I’m going to look for someone who can chase around looking for some sponsors because that is really quite a big job and there are so many people doing the same thing. They have got six or seven people working there. Don’t see Flavio [Briatore] doing that, do you? Actually, Flavio would be a good guy to do it but firstly he wouldn’t want to do it. Do you think it would be somebody inside F1 or outside? I don’t know. I have no idea. I suppose, if it was the sort of thing you thought you could do, for example, it’s a case of really knowing people so that you know somebody who knows somebody who happens to be the person that handles sponsorship in a company so the more people you have got, the more chance you have got of finding the right people. What about broadcasting rights? Do you need someone else? No, that’s what I do and I’m successful. 42 GPWEEK.com // 42 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: