Ferrari has announced that former Philip Morris executive Maurizio Arrivabene has replaced Marco Mattiacci as team principal for Scuderia Ferrari, and in addition to running the Formula One squad will also head the Sporting Activities Department responsible for the Corse Clienti and Challenge programs. Arrivabene’s background is in marketing and promotions, and he joins Ferrari after working at Philip Morris since 1997.
During his time with the cigarette giant, Arrivabene was in charge of marketing for the Marlboro brand, a long-time sponsor of Ferrari, so he has close links with the team. He has also represented all sponsors for the sport on the F1 Commission since 2010.
“We decided to appoint Maurizio Arrivabene because, at this historic moment in time for the Scuderia and for Formula One, we need a person with a thorough understanding not just of Ferrari but also of the governance mechanisms and requirements of the sport,” Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne said at today’s announcement. “Maurizio has a unique wealth of knowledge: he has been extremely close to the Scuderia for years and, as a member of the F1 Commission, is also keenly aware of the challenges we are facing.”
Mattiacci, who previously headed Ferrari’s U.S. operations, was called in last April to head Scuderia Ferrari after the sudden resignation of previous team principal Stefano Domenicali. It was never expected that he would stay team principal but it has come as a surprise that Mattiacci is no longer working for Ferrari. Marchionne confirmed that Mattiacci has left Ferrari after 15 years with the firm.
Ferrari this week also started testing for the 2015 season, with Kimi Räikkönen and Ferrari Driver Academy apprentice Raffaele Marciello taking turns behind the wheel of a modified version of Ferrari’s 2014 F1 car. Unfortunately for the team, new driver Sebastian Vettel is still under contract with Infiniti Red Bull Racing so couldn’t take part in the latest test.