Australian GP taps top Aussie Rules exec as new CEO

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 takes the chequered flag at the end of the race. 02.04.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images
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The Australian Grand Prix Corporation has announced that AFL executive Travis Auld will succeed Andrew Westacott in the role of chief executive officer.

Westacott announced at the end of 2022 that he was stepping down from his role, after 11 years as CEO of the AGPC which oversees F1’s Australian Grand Prix and MotoGP’s Australian Motorcycle GP.

Westacott’s tenure as CEO saw the F1 race grew to become one of the sport's best attended grands prix, which helped the venue win an extension to its current contract through to the end of 2037.

One of the names linked to succeed Westacott was former F1 racing director Michael Masi, who departed the role last year as a result of the controversial ending to the 2021 season at Abu Dhabi.

Instead it's Auld who will pick up the baton, having previously held the role of Executive General Manager Finance, Clubs and Broadcast for the Australian Football League, one of the top sporting series in the country.

Auld was previously COO of the Essendon Bombers and the inaugural CEO of the Gold Coast Suns, and had been in the running to take the role of CEO of AFL but missed out to Andrew Dillon.

But now Auld is eagerly anticipating the fresh challenge of motorsport: “I am looking forward to leading one of the biggest and best international events in the country," he said.

“The possibilities are endless on the back of the extraordinary growth that F1 has experienced globally along with MotoGP going from strength to strength," he said in a press statement announcing the appointment.

"My role is to ensure we deliver two world-class events that are the best possible experience for drivers, riders, teams, and fans from across the globe.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23 in the pits while the race is stopped.
02.04.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Race Day.
-, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

“Travis is a driven leader and is well placed to ensure the AGPC builds on its recent growth to deliver two of the most prestigious motorsport events in Australia," said Victoria's Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Ben Carroll.

“I look forward to working with Mr Auld and the AGPC Board to ensure that we continue to deliver the best motor racing events anywhere in the world that bring big benefits to our state.”

“I’d also like to thank Andrew Westacott for his dedicated leadership of the AGPC over the past 11 years," he added. "He did an outstanding job.”

Andrew Westacott (AUS) Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chief Executive Officer at an outdoor press conference following the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix. 13.03.2020. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Practice Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

Auld's current boss at AFL, departing CEO Gillon McLachlan, paid credit to Auld. "He has done an extraordinary job. He leaves with the respect and admiration of our team at the AFL and all our key stakeholders.

"Trav leaves our game having made a lasting impact," she continued. "I personally wish to thank him for his leadership, counsel and, importantly, his friendship as a long-standing member of our AFL executive team.

“On behalf of everyone at the AFL, we thank Trav for his 20-plus years of service to footy and congratulate him on his new role as CEO of the Grand Prix."

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