Who will end up on top in IndyCar?
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013
It's been nearly four months since IndyCar fired CEO Randy Bernard and there's been almost no buzz whatsoever within the series since his termination.
That picked up briefly this week when it was rumored that former president of competition and racing operations Brian Barnhart would be named CEO. That was quickly dismissed by IndyCar in a statement attributed to the series.
"Brian continues to be an executive member of IndyCar and his understanding of our sport continues to provide our organization with valuable input. However, Brian's future role with IndyCar will not be as CEO of the organization," the statement said.
So who will?
The name that continues to surface is Zak Brown, founder and CEO motorsports marketing agency Just Marketing International. Brown had previously said he was interested in only a board position with IndyCar or a consulting role, but his name also appeared in series founder Tony George's proposal to buy the series.
George's proposal last October included a management team in which Brown would act as CEO of the series. Now, with IndyCar still looking for a leader six weeks before the season begins, Brown appears to be the best option for the series.
Roger Penske last week told The Associated Press he'd be in favor of Brown taking the CEO job, but noted Brown would have to relinquish his marketing agency and might be unwilling to give up JMI. Brown has declined to comment on any potential interest in the job.
But one thing is certain: If Brown was to move to IndyCar, he'd be wise to demand autonomy from the series and ensure the board of directors would not interfere in his management. Bernard had neither and was shown the door with two years remaining on his contract.