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As widely predicted, Cyril Abiteboul, who recently joined Caterham as CEO is to assume the role of Team Principal following Tony Fernandes decision to step down.
Abiteboul, who joined Caterham in late December, was previously Deputy Managing Director of Renault Sport F1. He will combine his new role with that of CEO, with immediate effect.
"Cyril is going to be an excellent Team Principal," said Fernandes. "He has extensive experience in F1, he is extremely well respected and he shares our vision for what we want our team to achieve. He takes over during a season when we have not yet fulfilled our potential, but at a time when we have everything in place to help us do so. One day we will earn our seat at the top table of Formula 1 and he is the right person to take us there.
"This decision allows Kamarudin and I to focus on AirAsia and gives Riad the structure he needs to allow the various Caterham Group businesses to flourish under his leadership. Kamarudin and I will continue as Co-Chairman of Caterham Group and we now have the best possible team in place to take our dream into its next phase. Kamarudin and I will still have an active interest in our various Caterham companies, but we have now reached the point in the growth of the business where it makes most sense to step back.
"We have taken Caterham Group from nothing just three years ago to today, where Caterham Cars has the platform with Renault to take it from a niche brand into an innovative participant in the global automotive market. Caterham Technology is also integrally involved in the Renault partnership, working with Renault on the design and development of our road cars, as well as currently working with a number of other blue-chip companies including Airbus, and they are fast being recognised as a leading player in the technology and innovation fields. Caterham Composites is also in rude health, working with CTI on the Airbus project in addition to a variety of other cutting-edge programs that will soon see the light of day. In summary, Riad is now leading a group of businesses that put the Caterham name at the forefront of the technological and innovation fields across a wide range of industries."
"I am honoured to take over as Team Principal, now combining that role with the CEO post I took up in September 2012, and I would like to thank Tony and Kamarudin for the chance to lead this team into the next phase of its growth," said Abiteboul. "We have big challenges ahead of us but the shareholders are committed and behind us to help us take significant steps forward over the coming years, and one day challenge for the highest honours in F1. We have an incredible spirit within the team and that has been created by Tony and Kamarudin. This spirit, allied to a strategic vision that gives us a clear path to success, is what will keep driving us forwards and we all look forward to the day we can make the dreams our shareholders had several years ago come true."
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