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Natalie Robyn, FIA’s first female chief executive, leaves post after 18 months
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Natalie Robyn, FIA’s first female chief executive, leaves post after 18 months

Natalie Robyn is leaving Formula One’s governing body after serving just 18 months as its first chief executive, the FIA said on Wednesday.

Robyn was one of the most senior female executives in motorsport and her arrival from the auto industry was hailed by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, as a “transformative moment” for an organisation led by Mohammed Ben Sulayem. Ben Sulayem, from the United Arab Emirates, 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 governing body 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. The sporting director, Steve Nielsen, the single-seater technical director, Tim Goss, and the women’s commission head, Deborah Mayer, have all exited.

The FIA is facing legal action brought by Susie Wolff, the director of the all-female F1 Academy support series and the wife of Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, after a conflict of interest inquiry 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 F1’s possible expansion to 11 teams.

Source: theguardian.com