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FIA reveals details of new CEO role as search continues

Adding a CEO to the organisation was one of the stated aims of Mohammed Ben Sulayem on his election as its President in December, and the search was kickstarted in February.

Ben Sulayem sees the introduction of a well-qualified professional manager as a key part of his strategy of updating the FIA and especially keeping proper control of its finances.

In February he created a CEO Recruitment Working Group with the aim of determining exactly what the job would involve and the skills required. 

The search for candidates for the Geneva-based job is now continuing via headhunting agency Russell Reynolds Associates, and no closing date for applications has been given.

In a job specification put together in conjunction with the agency the FIA says that “it wishes to recruit a commercially oriented and transformative leader to modernise the organisation and to enhance the value that it delivers to its diverse membership worldwide”.

It further notes that that “the FIA President and elected leadership set the vision and policy for the FIA. Reporting to the President of the Senate, the CEO will be responsible for developing the strategy for the organisation to deliver that vision, and for the successful operational and financial performance of an integrated and aligned FIA administration”.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President, FIA

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President, FIA

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

It adds that “the key priorities for the new CEO will be stabilising the FIA’s finances, streamlining the governance structures and operational processes, and developing its executive leadership capabilities to support the diversification and growth of its future income streams”.

The FIA makes it clear that it wants to generate more income, as one of the responsibilities of the new CEO will be “developing commercial growth plans to increase and diversify the FIA’s revenue streams, in support of members’ own business activities (and never in competition with them)”.

The CEO’s role will further include “returning the FIA to profitability and enhancing its long-term overall financial performance, both through cost reduction and by pursuing new commercial revenue streams, with accountability for its financial performance”.

The FIA makes it clear that it expects candidates to have “senior executive leadership experience in an international commercial business or complex organisation of comparable scale to FIA’s administrative organisation”.

Although candidates are not obliged to have a directly relevant background, the FIA notes that “prior experience in or knowledge of the motorsport industry and/or broader automotive and mobility markets would be a considerable advantage.

“Regardless of industry background, the CEO should be passionate about motorsport and/or the global mobility transformation, and their important roles in society,” it says.

Among the personal skills expected from candidates are a “low-ego and humble approach, recognising that the organisation exists to support its global members; encourages others to share the spotlight and visibly celebrates and supports the success of the team”.

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