ULA One owner CVC Capital has moved quickly to dismiss speculation ex-M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose is being lined up to replace Bernie Ecclestone to run the business.
“Contrary to recent media speculation, CVC is not seeking a replacement for Bernie Ecclestone and intends to retain him as chief executive of F1,” CVC said in a statement.
Reports over the weekend suggested Formula One has drawn up a shortlist of candidates to replace Ecclestone, possibly as soon as next year. But a spokesperson for CVC said there was no shortlist and no headhunters have been appointed.
City A.M. understands Ecclestone, 81, has no plans to retire in the near future. “Bernie remains firmly in charge and looks to be very happy with the job,” said a source.
There has been speculation that Rose, who spent seven years at the helm of M&S before quitting in January, was being sounded out to run Formula One.
City commentators believe CVC is keen to float the business in Asia next year, and is looking for a senior businessman who can capitalise on the popularity of motor racing in the far east. Over his decades at the helm of the company, Ecclestone has turned Formula One into one of the biggest sports franchises in the world.