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Ecclestone starts succession planning?

ESPNF1 Staff
December 8, 2010 « Group Lotus becomes title sponsor of RenaultF1 | »
Having been mugged of his Hublot watch in London, Bernie Ecclestone agreed to appear in an advert. 'The bruising is going down, and I've had the stitches taken out' © Hublot
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Speculation is mounting that Bernie Ecclestone is making succession plans with the appointment of David Campbell to galvanise Formula One's marketing power in the midst of a global recession.

Campbell's highest-profile success has come with the rebranding of the Millennium Dome, turning it from an embarrassing white elephant into one of the world's leading concert venues as the rebranded O2. He was previously the head of Virgin Radio and was recruited by AEG five years ago to oversee the redevelopment of the Dome.

Campbell will join Geneva-based Allsport Management which markets and sells trackside advertising at virtually every Formula One venue, as well as managing F1's Paddock Club, which provides corporate hospitality at races.

Ecclestone said: "He is going to join Allsport run by [Paddy] McNally in Geneva and be helping him. He needs a bit of help. He hasn't started yet, so we'll have to see what exactly he is going to do or not do, obviously. It's too new to know.

"I hope he can do it. It's a completely different thing to what he has been doing at O2. But he's a commercial-minded guy, so I'm sure there will be no problems."

It is widely reported Campbell may have a longer-term role as the successor to Ecclestone, who turned 80 in October. While he has shown to inclination to slow down or relax his grip on the sport, there is increasing pressure for some kind of plan to be in place for when the time does come for him to quit.