Motor racing: Brown steps down from CSM, linked to F1 role

Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:25am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - American marketing executive Zak Brown, who has been linked to a role in Formula One after Liberty Media's takeover, announced on Monday he was stepping down from his current role as head of CSM Sport & Entertainment at the end of the year.

Brown said in a statement that he would take his experience "forward to my next chapter in the arena I know best, motorsport." He could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Formula One is facing a major shake-up after U.S. cable TV mogul John Malone's Liberty Media agreed this month to take control. The deal is likely to lead to a new push to develop the U.S. market and win fresh audiences.

Media reports have suggested that new Formula One chairman Chase Carey wants to appoint more executives to run the commercial and sporting operations, until now the preserve of 85-year-old supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

CSM said that Brown, whose agency has introduced top sponsors to Formula One, would remain involved in CSM as chairman of its global advisory board and non-executive chairman of its JMI motorsport arm.

The 44-year-old founded JMI sports marketing, which was bought by CSM, a division of Chime Communications, in 2013. IAAF President Sebastian Coe is chairman of CSM.

Liberty Media has acquired an initial 18.7 percent stake in Formula One from controlling shareholder CVC Capital Partners and plans to complete a cash and shares deal by the first quarter of 2017.

Brown, who owns a number of old F1 cars including an ex-Ayrton Senna Lotus 98T and Michael Schumacher Benetton B191, said after the deal was announced that he could not think of a better buyer.   Continued...