fia ben sulayem

High-level FIA legal staff departing F1’s governing body

fia ben sulayem More high-level staff staff departing FIA

Into the third year of Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s presidency of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Formula 1’s governing body is still losing key management staff.

The latest high-level FIA management departures include Pierre Ketterer (FIA Governance and Regulatory Director) and Edward Floydd (FIA Head of Commercial Legal Affairs) both part of the FIA negotiating team for the current F1 Concorde Agreement that runs until 2026.

At the FIA since 2010, Ketterer is set to join the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in April, and was considered a key part of Ben Sulayem’s team despite having been brought in during the tenure of the FIA’s previous president Jean Todt.


Ben Sulayem told Motorsport Network: “I will miss Pierre personally and professionally. I have known him for 14 years – long before I became FIA president. I have always found him to be meticulous in his commitment to serving the Federation and our members.

“He was a prominent, well-respected figure in our organisation. I would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution and unwavering professionalism. I am confident that with the team Pierre has put in place, the FIA’s governance and regulatory affairs are in good hands. He has decided to take his career in a new direction after years of loyal service, and I wish him well in his new role.”

Ketterer: I have a very important relationship with the President Ben Sulayem

Ketterer: I have a very important relationship with the President Ben Sulayem

Of his departure, Ketterer said: “I’m passionate about sports and joining the IOC is a kind of dream. I spent 14 years at the FIA and I wanted to seek new challenges in another sports organisation, I really wanted to stay in sport.

“It’s a bittersweet moment for me as I’m very sad leaving motorsport and leaving colleagues and friends. I have a very important relationship with the President, I know it’s hard to gain his trust, and we’ve had a great time for the last two years.”

Ketterer and Floydd can be added to the list of a slew of high-level departures from the FIA, including the likes of F1 sporting director Steve Nielsen, F1 technical director Tim Goss, Formula E technical manager Alessandra Ciliberti, Women in Motorsport Commission president Deborah Mayer as well as less high-profile FIA staff.

Explaining the brain drain from the organisation, an FIA spokesman said: “The FIA has been undergoing a large-scale transformation over the past 12 months. We have created 10 new departments restructuring the Federation to be more fit for purpose for the future.

“While individuals are departing for other opportunities we have also welcomed new additions such as three new hires to the management team over the last few months, namely chief legal officer, chief commercial officer and senior director for sustainability and EDI [equality, diversity and inclusion.] We have also added numerous staff to key roles across sport and mobility,” concluded the spokesperson.

Wolff: It’s concerning to see so many good people leaving [the FIA]

Mohammed Ben Sulayem and Toto Wolff talk Wolff: It’s concerning to see so many good people leaving [the FIA]

Last month, the FIA confirmed the appointment of Tim Malyon as Sporting Director within the Single-Seater Department. Malyon will oversee all sporting matters, including Race Direction and the Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Geneva, and will report to Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s Single-Seater Director.

Nevertheless, the apparent revolving door for FIA staff is not going unnoticed, with Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff remarking in the wake of Nielsen’s confirmed departure a month ago: “It’s concerning to see so many good people leaving. Losing Steve Nielsen is a big blow. I couldn’t think of a more knowledgeable and fair sporting director.

“As a leader, it’s about the culture and environment you create for people to thrive. When people as competent as these leave an organization there is a vacuum. That’s clear. And you’ve got to ask yourself why is it suddenly that so many people have decided to call it a day?

“What it needs is stability. The FIA is one of three key stakeholders of the sport. And as the leadership of these organizations, we need to set the tone for everybody else,” reckoned Wolff, in a direct snipe at Ben Sulayem as FIA chief.

Big Question: What’s really going on at the FIA?