Patrick Louis has stepped down as chief executive of Lotus as part of a senior management reshuffle at the leading Formula One motor racing team, according to the Autosport website.
Louis joined Lotus at the start of 2010 when current owner Genii Capital bought the team from French car manufacturer Renault, moving up to the chief executive position in 2012. However, Autosport reports that he has elected to step down as CEO to take up a position with the Genii Automotive brand.
Louis will retain a position on the Lotus team board, and will be replaced as chief executive by Matthew Carter, who is understood to be an ally of minority team shareholder Andrew Ruhan, who became involved with Lotus at the start of last year. The development comes as speculation continues about Lotus’ financial position. The team had hoped to conclude a major deal with investors Quantum Motorsports by the end of 2013, but an agreement was not reached.
Lotus finished fourth in the 2013 F1 constructors’ championship and on Monday announced that its new car would not run in the opening pre-season test session of 2014, which will be held in Jerez, Spain from January 28. The team instead plans to run its E22 car at the subsequent Bahrain test that begins on February 19. The 2014 Formula One season gets underway with Melbourne’s Australian Grand Prix on March 16.