Brown steps down from CSM amid talk of F1 move

Zak Brown is to exit his role as group chief executive of the CSM Sport & Entertainment division of marketing services group Chime Communications at the end of the year, amid speculation over a move to the Formula One motor racing championship.

Brown founded motorsport marketing agency JMI in 1995 and the company was then acquired by CSM in 2013. CSM has said that Chime Communications chief executive Chris Satterthwaite would join the CSM leadership team through to the end of the year.

Earlier this month, US-based Liberty Media confirmed that it had agreed a deal with a consortium led by private equity fund CVC Capital Partners to acquire Formula One.

New F1 chairman Chase Carey is said to be keen on increasing the championship’s commercial appeal in the US and California-born Brown, himself a former motor racing driver, has been linked with a move. In a statement, Brown hinted at a move to F1 but would not confirm his next venture.

Brown said: “I feel privileged to have been part of an extraordinary team during my tenure. I’m satisfied that we have achieved what I set out to do, from the successful integration of JMI into CSM through to preparing a strong business for a successful future.

“I would like to thank both Chris Satterthwaite and CSM chairman Lord (Sebastian) Coe for their invaluable support and commitment, without which these accomplishments and many more would not have been possible. I will take this experience forward to my next chapter in the arena I know best, motorsport.”

CSM confirmed that Brown has agreed to continue his involvement with CSM as chairman of the global advisory board and non-executive chairman of its motorsport arm, JMI.

Meanwhile, organisers of the Mexican Grand Prix have said that they would welcome any plans Liberty Media may have to introduce more North American races on to the F1 calendar.

Mexican Grand Prix marketing director Rodrigo Sanchez told the Reuters news agency: “We wish we could have more and more races on prime time on our side of the world and I think the only way we will get that is if, collaboratively, there starts being more races in the region in general. It would be great to basically consolidate Formula One in North America.”