V8 Supercars confirms Warburton as CEO

James Warburton

James Warburton

Former Network 10 chief executive James Warburton has been confirmed as the new CEO of V8 Supercars.

Warburton steps into the position previously held by David Malone, who was removed only 15 months into his tenure after failing to secure a favourable television deal for the category.

Like Malone, Warburton arrives in the role with extensive television experience, although recent employment with Networks Seven and 10 both ended in controversial circumstances.

Warburton’s nine year spell at Seven commenced in 2003, with his stint including work on the commercialisation of the network’s V8 Supercars coverage.

His defection to 10 triggered a legal battle and a period of gardening leave, while his short time at 10 ended abruptly in February after a string of programming flops.

Nevertheless, Warburton’s resume, which also includes time as MD of media buying group Universal McCann and GM of marketing at Hyundai Australia, is being lauded by V8 Supercars’ existing board members.

“James is an ideal fit for this role given his extensive track record in the television, sales and commercial fields; as well as his strong knowledge of the sport,” said Archer Capital’s Andrew Gray in a statement confirming Warburton’s appointment.

“He is incredibly well credentialed and enjoys support from a wide cross section of business leaders as the right person for the role.”

Added fellow board member Roland Dane: “James is considered by the Board as an extremely shrewd and highly capable CEO.

“We look forward to James bringing his wealth of knowledge, sales acumen and clear love of the sport to the V8 Supercars business.”

Describing himself as a ‘life-long fan’ of V8 Supercars, Warburton will start his CEO position on June 1.

“It is a great honour to be leading this sport into its next phase of growth,” he said

“As a life-long fan of the championship I’ve never seen better on track action than the start to the 2013 season and the teams and the sport should be congratulated for the seamless and professional roll out of the car of the future. I can’t wait to rip in.”

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