Bernie Ecclestone is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of motorsport.
His long and illustrious career in F1 was characterised by his innovative business strategies, shrewd negotiating skills, and a relentless pursuit of growth and profitability.
Early life and career
Ecclestone was born in London in 1930, and from a young age, he showed a keen interest in motorsports and business.
After starting his own car and truck rental company in the 1950s, he turned his attention to the world of racing, where he quickly made a name for himself as a manager of top drivers.
In 1978, Ecclestone was elected as the CEO of the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA), and it was during this time that he really made his mark on the sport.
He negotiated the first-ever commercial rights deal for F1, which gave him control over the television rights and gave teams a share of the revenue generated from the sport.
This deal was a major turning point for F1, as it transformed it from a niche hobby into a global entertainment phenomenon.
F1’s growth under Ecclestone
Under Ecclestone’s leadership, F1 continued to grow in popularity and profitability, and by the late 1990s, it was one of the most watched and lucrative sports in the world.
Ecclestone continued to negotiate new deals, expand the sport’s reach, and introduce new technologies and innovations that kept fans engaged and entertained.
In 2005, Ecclestone sold a majority stake in F1 to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $2 billion, but he remained as CEO and continued to shape the future of the sport.
Despite his advanced age, Ecclestone continued to work tirelessly, always looking for new ways to grow F1 and increase its profitability.
However, in 2017, Ecclestone’s long and illustrious career in F1 came to an end when he was replaced as CEO by Liberty Media.
Even though he has now left the sport, Ecclestone’s impact on F1 remains immense, and he is widely regarded as one of the key figures in the sport’s history.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton also has Bernie to thank during the early part of his career, when Ecclestone offered to cover a big part of his salary.
Bernie Ecclestone net worth
So, what is Bernie Ecclestone’s net worth today? According to Forbes, as of 2023, Ecclestone’s net worth is estimated to be around $3.1 billion.
However, this value was believed to be $4.2 million in 2016, right before Liberty Media took control.
This massive fortune was built on the back of his decades-long leadership of F1, as well as a number of successful business ventures and investments.
In addition to his work in F1, Ecclestone has also been involved in a number of other successful business ventures over the years.
He has invested in a variety of industries, including real estate, media, and technology, and has always shown a keen eye for identifying lucrative opportunities.
One of Ecclestone’s most successful business ventures was his investment in London’s property market, where he has acquired several high-end properties, including a $90 million mansion in Chelsea.
He has also made significant investments in Brazil, where he owns a number of properties, including a luxurious $25 million estate in Sao Paulo.
Controversies involving Ecclestone
Despite his vast wealth and success, Ecclestone has not been immune to controversy over the years. In 2012, he was accused of bribery in connection with the sale of F1 to CVC Capital Partners.
He was eventually cleared of all charges, but the incident raised questions about his business dealings and ethics.
Ecclestone recently also made some controversial statements supporting Vladimir Putin which were not received well by those in F1 or even outside it following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Despite these controversies, Ecclestone remains one of the most successful and influential figures in the world of motorsports, and his impact on the sport of F1 will continue to be felt for many years to come.
His unwavering commitment to growth and profitability, as well as his innovative and forward-thinking approach to business, have made him a legend.
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