A lot has been happening with Red Bull recently. The drama surrounding Red Bull Racing’s cost cap breach was quite enough, but then they had to deal with the death of Red Bull’s founder Dietrich Mateschitz. This was a very sad day for Formula 1, as Mateschitz had been instrumental in getting the brand into F1 circles. Starting off as a personal sponsor of Gerhard Berger, the company then bought ownership in Sauber and, after that didn’t work out due to disagreements between the two entities, ended up buying two Formula 1 teams of their own.
Now that Mateschitz is no longer around, the Red Bull company has had to work out a form of succession. That’s something that’s now been confirmed, via company statements and a letter from Mateschitz’s son Mark. Much like what’s happened with WWE in the post-Vince McMahon era, the old chairman’s corporate responsibilities will be split between three different executives. The core business around the energy drink itself will be headed up by Franz Watzlawick, CFO Alexander Kirchmayr will oversee the financial end of the company and Oliver Mintzlaff has become the CEO of Corporate Projects and Investments. As part of his new corporate responsibilities, Mintzlaff will be in charge of both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri.
Mintzlaff is no stranger to the world of sports. Before taking up his new executive position he had been in charge of RB Leipzig, a Red Bull-owned football club which plays in the Bundesliga in Germany. He had also worked for Puma as its Head of Sports Marketing from 2000-2008 and been a managing director for Ferber Marketing. Mintzlaff is a former athlete himself, too; he specialised in long-distance running and competed in several marathons and cross-country races from the late ’90s to the mid ’00s.
“Following the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz we are pleased to learn of the appointment of Oliver Mintzlaff to CEO of Corporate Projects and investments,” Red Bull stated about the new appointment. “Although there won’t be any changes in the day-to-day with Oracle Red Bull Racing, we look forward to working closely with someone likeminded, who has such a strong pedigree in elite sports.”
Mark Mateschitz resoundingly endorsed the new appointments. “Franz, Alexander and Oliver were our dream team. I am very happy that they will be taking on this task,” he said in his letter to Red Bull’s staff. He also stated that the new corporate structure had been proposed by his father and had the full support of the Yoovidya family, Red Bull’s majority shareholder.
Christian Horner has already assured people that things won’t change, as Mateschitz had ensured a very strong foundation for Red Bull Racing. “The future is set,” said Horner about Red Bull Racing’s plans going forward. “He’s put in place a very strong foundation for the future. And within 2026 Red Bull becoming a power unit manufacturer that was the missing piece of our jigsaw, and he had the vision to enable that to happen. And just as we’ve done with the chassis, we will take that same spirit, his spirit into the future engine company.”
It’s also currently understood that Helmut Marko will be carrying on in his role. Although, with a new man above him in the company hierarchy, there is every possibility that this could change. Dr. Marko was very close to Mateschitz. There is every possibility that Mintzlaff may not feel the same way about his new employee…