Warburton reveals reasons for Supercars exit

Outgoing Supercars CEO James Warburton

Outgoing Supercars CEO James Warburton has revealed he planned to make 2017 his final year in the role while denying claims a pay dispute prompted the move.

Warburton addressed media for the first time since announcing his exit from the sport on Monday, claiming that the decision to leave had been long planned.

The former Network Ten boss is set to return to the media sector having secured the CEO position at APN Outdoor, which was confirmed on Tuesday.

Warburton strongly denied claims there was a ‘smoking gun’ or a ‘pay dispute’ that triggered his exit from the position he has held since mid-2013.

“This has been well and truly a transition period,” said Warburton.

“2017 was always going to be my last year.

“Probably the only thing that’s changed in terms of the transition is that the opportunity to lead APN Outdoor came around as quickly as it did, which has obviously pushed that a little bit sooner than it otherwise would have happened.

“One thing I would like to clarify, some of the earlier media reports earlier in the week that this is all over a pay dispute.

“It’s complete and utter rubbish that you would tender your resignation on a Monday and Tuesday and the following day be announced as the CEO of a publicly listed company.

“I don’t think there’s a smoking gun. I think there’s opportunity in the market and you can see yourself that the results.

“As I said, I don’t think that these conversations and transitions we see happen all the time. So the rumour mill goes around, but there’s absolutely no truth in those rumours.”

Warburton has also brushed off criticisms made by former Supercars CEO Tony Cochrane, who took aim at the ex-television network boss’ leadership of the sport.

“I can’t tell you what runs through Tony’s (Cochrane’s) head, he sad.

“I think it’s been humbling to hear some nice things said but the end of the day the only reason anything is said about any CEO or leader is because they’re successful.

“And so the business has to go forward. Things need to happen and you need to be successful, so that’s what I’ve always focussed on. It will be what it will be in terms of comments like that. It doesn’t worry me at all.”

It was also revealed that Supercars is well underway in finding a successor with the process having begun six months ago.

Speedcafe.com understands he will play an active role in searching for his replacement up until his final day in the job on December 22.

“I don’t think there’s any shortage of outstanding candidates that are already putting their names forward,” added Warburton.

“We’ve identified a whole host of people we’re privately talking to, which we’ve done over the last six months. I think we’re in very, very good shape.”

Warburton also fully intends to deliver at least one Asian race for the 2019 calendar before he departs.

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]