Friday, Jul 26 11:50am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

MotorSport New Zealand appoints Simon Baker as new CEO

Ex-CricHQ CEO Simon Baker has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer for MotorSport New Zealand starting next week.


Baker replaces Brian Budd who spent 10 years at the organisation. He arrives to the Wellington offices with a background in “technology, leadership, sales and marketing.”


Baker was behind internet start-up CricHQ, which went into voluntary receivership in 2017. Baker left as CEO and the company was sold but still operates.


A racer himself, Baker competed in the Mazda Racing Series in an RX-8 as recently as last season.


“My career, especially in the last ten years, have been involved with the sports industry, exposing me to some of the challenges facing sports organisations locally, nationally and globally,” Baker said.


“Given that motorsport is one of my passions, I was really interested when the role came up. Upon meeting with Wayne Christie and the board and discussing the role, it was clear that the board was not seeking anyone to run the technical or regulatory aspects of the business as MotorSport New Zealand already has these skills through people like Elton Goonan, Terry Carkeek and rest of team. Rather my skills and experience will very much augment the current capabilities of the team.


“Like a lot of sports, MotorSport New Zealand faces challenges such funding and environmental impact. Equally we have a number of very exciting opportunities such as diversity and E-Sports.


“I’ve also found it fascinating learning more about New Zealand’s contribution to motorsport on the global stage, that also highlights some great opportunities for competitors and NZ exporters alike.


“Initially, I have a lot to get up to speed with within the business of MotorSport NZ, and will be taking the time to meet stakeholders and gain a better understanding of where we need to focus our efforts for the long-term future of the sport.”


Motorsport New Zealand President Wayne Christie said: “Simon’s infectious enthusiasm and determination to succeed, together with his previous experience in management and sales roles makes him the ideal person to continue to strengthen our vision of being New Zealand’s most exciting sport.


“The board has set some very ambitious goals to see MotorSport NZ continue as the pre-eminent governing body for motor sport in New Zealand and has every confidence that Simon will not only deliver on these goals but, with the support of our knowledgeable and passionate staff, will exceed the expectations placed upon him by championing the virtues of MotorSport NZ with prospective partners for the benefit of our member clubs, licence holders and other key stakeholders.”