JANUARY 31, 2001
BAT strengthens its hand in BAR
THERE has been yet another reshuffle in the management of the British American Racing hierarchy with parent company British American Tobacco quite clearly strengthening its position with the appointment of BAT main board member the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke as chairman of British American Racing (Holdings) Ltd.
Clarke replaces Don Brown although the Canadian remains on the BAR board as deputy chairman. Clarke is the first main board member to be directly involved in the running of the team, an indication that the tobacco giant want results.
The new board of BAR (Holdings) is dominated by top BAT men with no fewer than three members of the BAT management board represented: Nick Brookes (BAT regional director for the Asia-Pacific region and chairman and CEO of BAT's US offshoot Brown & Williamson), Antonio Monteiro de Castro (BAT regional director for Latin America) and Jimmi Rembiszewski, the company's international head of marketing.
Gone from the board are Rick Gorne and BAT's Mexican representative Antonio Rodrigues. The new board shifts the balance of power in the team. Originally there were four BAT directors and four BAR men but it is 5-3 with Craig Pollock, Jerry Forsythe and Adrian Reynard outnumbered by the cigarette company men.
Clarke is certainly a heavy-hitter. The 60-year-old has been Member of the British Parliament since 1970. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer in the last Conservative government and challenged for the Conservative Party leadership in 1997 but was defeated by William Hague. He has been a BAT director since 1998. He is a big racing fan and a member of the British Racing Drivers Club.
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