FIA’s first female chief executive resigns after just 18 months

The CEO of F1’s governing body, Natalie Robyn, has left to ‘pursue opportunities outside of the FIA’

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Thursday 09 May 2024 09:57 BST
Donald Trump salutes during USA national anthem at F1 in Miami

FIA chief executive Natalie Robyn is leaving the organisation after serving just 18 months.

Robyn was one of the most senior female executives in motorsport and her arrival from the auto industry was hailed by the FIA as a "transformative moment" for F1’s governing body, led by president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Ben Sulayem had also highlighted Robyn’s appointment as proof of his commitment to equality and diversity after a controversy over remarks he had once made about women "who think they are smarter than men".

The FIA on Wednesday said Robyn had decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere and was leaving by mutual agreement at the end of May.

"Performing in the role of CEO at the FIA has been an enormous privilege and I am grateful to have directed a programme of restructuring and reform," she was quoted as saying.

"Now is the time to step away in the knowledge that the organisation is better placed for the challenges which lie ahead."

Robyn is the fourth senior employee to depart the FIA since December.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem is the president of the FIA
Mohammed Ben Sulayem is the president of the FIA (PA Wire)

Sporting director Steve Nielsen, single-seater technical director Tim Goss and women’s commission head Deborah Mayer have all left.

The FIA is facing legal action brought by Susie Wolff, the director of the all-female F1 Academy support series and wife of Mercedes team boss Toto, after a conflict of interest enquiry last year.

The relationship between Liberty Media-owned Formula One and the FIA deteriorated last year, with the two sides at loggerheads over a number of issues including a possible expansion to 11 teams.

While the FIA accepted Andretti’s bid to join the grid, F1 rejected the American team’s proposition in January.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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