DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France has announced the appointment of long-time auto industry executive Brent Dewar as Chief Operating Officer of NASCAR to strengthen its executive management team and accelerate a number of key growth initiatives. Dewar begins at NASCAR on January 6, 2014.
Concurrently, NASCAR announced that Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, has been promoted to executive vice president, while Steve O’Donnell, senior vice president, racing operations, has also been promoted to executive vice president. The company’s general counsel, Gary Crotty, has been elevated to chief legal officer/general counsel. Mike Helton continues as NASCAR President with continued oversight of all racing operations.
NASCAR’s executive leadership restructuring reflects France’s effort to make bold resourcing decisions that accelerate progress as the company focuses on announced changes in competition, research and development and on-going efforts to serve the current fan base and grow audience. The addition of Dewar, who has been consulting with NASCAR over the past year, will balance the responsibility across the executive leadership team and allow France to focus on setting the vision for NASCAR and driving key strategic growth initiatives and innovation across NASCAR.
“In Brent Dewar, we will add a seasoned leader with deep experience in the automotive sector, plus intimate knowledge of and passion for NASCAR as well as various other forms of motorsports,” France said. “Brent brings creativity, drive, intelligence, operational acumen and a clear understanding of our assets and challenges to NASCAR. He’s a leader who’s naturally collaborative, an essential trait as we work more closely with the OEMs, teams, tracks, broadcast partners and others to grow the sport over the next decade.
“Steve Phelps and Steve O’Donnell have led critical evolutions in key areas of our business over the last several years with great success, and Gary Crotty continues to lead one of the best legal teams in all of sport,” said France. “Their promotions are reflective of their achievements and the increased role they’ll play in 2014 and the years ahead.”
In recent years, Dewar has worked in senior executive consulting roles at GreenOrder, Courland International and most recently has been managing partner at Whitby Advisors, the company through which he has consulted NASCAR on its wide-ranging initiative to transform its Competition model in the areas of governance, rules, deterrence / penalties and officiating / inspection.
Dewar began his career at General Motors and achieved increasingly senior roles over nearly three decades at the global auto manufacturer. The breadth of his assignments at GM spans many areas of operations, global marketing, product development media, motorsports and sales operations for multiple brands. His final assignment with GM was Senior Vice President Global Chevrolet, responsible for leading GM’s volume brand across four regions and 130 markets.
“Working closely with NASCAR over the last year I’ve been very impressed by Brian’s vision for NASCAR’s future and the talented people he has put in place to achieve that vision,” said Dewar. “I have great passion for racing and I look forward to adding my experience, ideas and relationships throughout racing to help the team drive NASCAR’s growth and position it for a bright future.”