Formula One has officially been acquired by Liberty Media in a $8 billion deal which has seen the removal of long-term CEO Bernie Ecclestone.
The news that the former ‘ringmaster’ was ousted from the position this afternoon, and has been replaced by Chase Carey, who has been leading the bid for the purchase of the sport. Ecclestone will instead take up a position as an advisor to the board.
“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of F1 and that Chase will lead this business as CEO,” said Greg Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty Media Corporation. “There is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport, and we have every confidence that Chase, with his abilities and experience, is the right person to achieve this.”
“Excited” to be taking on the role of CEO, Chase Carey said, “F1 has huge potential with multiple untapped opportunities. I have enjoyed hearing from the fans, teams, FIA, promoters and sponsors on their ideas and hopes for the sport. We will work with all of these partners to enhance the racing experience and add new dimensions to the sport and we look forward to sharing these plans overtime.
“I would like to recognise and thank Bernie for his leadership over the decades. The sport is what it is today because of him and the talented team of executives he has led, and he will always be part of the F1 family. Bernie’s role as Chairman Emeritus befits his tremendous contribution to the sport and I am grateful for his continued insight and guidance as we build F1 for long-term success and the enjoyment of all those involved.”
Bernie Ecclestone said: “I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula 1, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with. I’m very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1.”
Further news is expected shortly with appointments effectively splitting Ecclestone’s former role into commercial and sporting positions. Former ESPN boss Sean Bratches and Honda/Mercedes boss Ross Brawn are expected to fill those roles.