Paretta joins Formula E as VP of Sporting

Beth Paretta has joined Formula E as its new VP of Sporting, a role that will have her overseeing sporting and on-track matters in the all-electric championship.

Paretta will report directly to Formula E co-founder and chief championship officer Alberto Longo, and will be the key figure between the series, its teams, and the FIA.

“The idea is to be the liaison between the Formula E series – so interfacing between the series and the FIA, the Formula E series, and all of the automotive manufacturers, making sure that those manufacturers who are in the series are getting what they need from it technically,” Paretta told RACER of her new role. “There’s a broader story there in that it follows what they need marketing-wise, but (also) technically, both where those car companies are today, and then where their future plans are taking them. Because when you have multiple car companies, you have multiple future plans and agendas that they all need to meet. And then ideally also forwarding new OEMS to the series.

Paretta joins Formula E with extensive industry experience, having held executive leadership roles at Volkswagen, Aston Martin, and Fiat Chrysler (now Stellantis) on the automotive side, and within motorsport, running Paretta Autosport, co-founding Women in Motorsports North America, serving on the board of directors of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and being a delegate to the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission.

It puts her in an ideal position to work in a series populated by numerous manufacturers that are using it to develop and promote new technologies.

“They speak different languages, and I would like to believe that maybe I can speak a bit of both,” she said. “There are a lot of racing teams that are often owned by ex-racing drivers, and yes, the actual day-to-day operations of going racing, that’s a discipline in and of itself.

“But if we even look at how much the business model of racing has changed, it’s changed in two different ways – one is just the commercial aspect of racing and sport has changed, the business of sport is bigger than it’s ever been, and you can see that across multiple sports.

“Therefore, the sponsors and those stakeholders need to get any sort of investment, you need to get a lot out of it. And sometimes the on-track product isn’t enough, like it used to be 20 years ago, 30 years ago – it’s very much changed. And if we as a sport don’t change with it, then it doesn’t succeed.

“So there’s that element of where people with a business perspective can thrive here, because that is much needed. Obviously, the on-track is critical, but those things have to work together and are complimentary – that commercial side and competition side.”

While she has already had a presence in the Formula E paddock recently, Paretta’s first event as VP of Sporting will be next week’s Berlin E-Prix double-header, which will be followed by the series’ official rookie test.

“My first order of business is really just getting to know all of these stakeholders,” she said. “Really get to know the teams, understand their current needs, and then kind of their wish list to understand.

“Everybody has a different wish list, so trying to find some common ground there, see what we can do, and then forge the relationship with the FIA and make sure that that we have this comfortable dialogue back and forth, because they’re a critical part of of the future and where we’re going.”

Story originally appeared on Racer