Motorsport Australia has announced that CEO Eugene Arocca will retire from the role at the end of 2023.
By then, Arocca will have brought up 11 years in the position, having made the transition from Australian Rules Football.
He informed staff at Motorsport Australia today, but will stay on for several months yet in order to allow for a search for and handover to his replacement.
Global recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson has been tasked with finding that replacement, after the Motorsport Australia Board was informed of Arocca's decision earlier this year.
“This is a very emotional day for me but I know that while I still have some time in the chair to come, when I do walk out the door on my final day, I will walk away extremely proud of the 11 years and what has been achieved,” he said.
“To the Motorsport Australia Board and staff, both past and present, I thank you for your support and for making this journey such a wonderful one.
“I am particularly grateful for the outstanding support I have received from past President Andrew Papadopoulos and current President Andrew Fraser.
“To the members, the officials, fans and everyone who makes our sport what it is, thank you for your dedication and commitment. There are too many people to thank, but the sport is a welcoming one that has an amazing future ahead.
“While I still have some months to go in this role, I know there will be no slowing down as 2023 finishes off on a high with a lot of events and plenty of work to do.
“I will continue to be involved in the sport in some way, particularly as a fan at the many events around Australia that make our sport so great.”
Motorsport Australia President Andrew Fraser hailed Arocca's contribution.
“Eugene has a very long list of achievements and under his leadership the organisation and the sport has made significant strides,” said Fraser.
“Eugene's been a very effective leader of our organisation and our sport, which both enjoy a strong reputation not just here in Australia, but globally. Motorsport Australia is seen around the world as one of the leading motorsport bodies and Eugene has played a significant role in ensuring the skills, expertise and the people who represent our brand are the best they can be.
“Motorsport Australia's reputation remains strong thanks to Eugene's promotion of the sport, allowing it to enjoy significant and strong relationships with governments across the country. A clear example of this is the Victorian Government's support for the development of the future Victorian Home of Motorsport at Avalon which has the potential to transform our sport.
“On behalf of the entire Board, we say thank you to Eugene and look forward to working with him to effect a planned and smooth transition. We appreciate Eugene giving advance notice so that we are able to now conduct a recruitment exercise.
“The Motorsport Australia Board and the Standing Nominations Committee are leading the extensive search for the next CEO. Odgers Berndtson have been appointed as our Executive Search Firm and the process is already well underway.”
Motorsport Australia identified Arocca's achievements as follows:
- 11 years of financial stability, including navigating the COVID-19 pandemic
- Excellent and continuing relationships with all levels of Government across Australia resulting in increased funding opportunities for clubs and participants
- New revenue opportunities through new commercial strategies
- Continued participation growth across all disciplines, including record licence numbers prior to COVID
- Establishing Motorsport Australia's innovative media and communications team
- Driving the establishment of junior development programs and the Girls on Track initiative
- Overseeing the move to a new National Office which now also houses the Australian Motorsport Hall of Fame
- Establishing the Parliamentary Friends of Motorsport at Federal and State level
- Driving Motorsport Australia's digital transformation
- Implementing the rebrand from CAMS to Motorsport Australia, bringing the organisation in line with other sporting bodies and growing the sport's reputation and profile
- Supporting the Board with major governance improvements including the establishment of the Standing Nominations Committee and the Motorsport Risk & Safety Committee
- Securing and lobbying for the proposed ‘Victorian Home of Motorsport' at Avalon, a game-changer for motorsport at all levels – a venue that is now close to becoming a reality
- Fostering a positive work environment resulting in high levels of employee satisfaction, engagement and collaboration
- Driving the organisation's commitment to safety, including the mandating of frontal head restraints across the sport
- Establishment of the Australian Motorsport Council, bringing together the sport's sanctioning bodies