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FIA starts search for CEO as reform process begins under Ben Sulayem

New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has taken the first steps towards his promised reform of the organisation, including kick-starting a search for a CEO.

Mohammed ben Sulayem, President EMSO (UAE)

Mohammed ben Sulayem, President EMSO (UAE)

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The 60-year-old was elected on a platform of reform, voicing an intention to pursue a new governance process and a full financial audit of the FIA.

The recruitment of a CEO is a key element of his road map.

Ben Sulayem's plans were discussed at the FIA's annual assembly last December following his election and again at meetings on Thursday of the World Motor Sport Council and the World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism, the first to be held on his watch.

Ben Sulayem used Thursday's sessions to follow through on his promise to modernise the organisation by confirming the creation of three working groups.

The FIA says that the CEO Recruitment Working Group has been formed "to assist the presidential team in determining the key attributes required of a CEO to manage the operational affairs of the federation."

It will "help select an executive search firm, establish a budget and timeframe for the CEO recruitment, and recommend a shortlist of candidates to the World Councils and the Senate."

In addition, a Governance Review Working Group will select a third party governance consultant, and will subsequently "identify the most important issues associated with FIA's governance structure, prioritise efforts to delve into remedies for these challenges, and develop road maps to address these issues."

Finally, a Financial Review Working Group will select a third party audit firm and "identify the most important issues associated with FIA's financial practices to determine if there are any changes necessary."

Mohammed ben Sulayem, President EMSO

Mohammed ben Sulayem, President EMSO

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The first two working groups will be chaired by the new president of the senate, Carmelo Sanz de Barros, and the third will be co-chaired by FIA deputy presidents Robert Reid and Tim Shearman.

Members of both World Councils will serve in each of the three groups, with FIA vice-president Fabiana Ecclestone among those chosen to help with the CEO search, and David Richards part of the governance group.

"A new era has begun for the FIA, through the creation of a governance framework founded on openness and global diversity," said Ben Sulayem.

"This is a key pillar of our strategy and I warmly thank the World Councils' members, who have approved the changes. Responsibility and authority of World Councils, which emanate from our members, will be increased.

"A more effective oversight model will be designed, stakeholders' priorities will be aligned, and a responsibly profitable FIA operation will be ensured.

"To reach these objectives, the federation's governing bodies and administration will work closely together to make the FIA the global voice of motor sport and mobility."

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