Red Bull announces Chelsea-linked RB Leipzig boss will oversee squad after Dietrich Mateschitz’s death

Red Bull announced a restructuring of its company following the death of co-founder and CEO Dietrich Mateschitzputting one of the key figures in his growing influence in football in charge of wider sporting projects, including overseeing his Formula One crew.

Mateschitz, 78, died a fortnight ago over the US Grand Prix weekend after a long period of illness, prompting an outpouring of tributes within F1 over his impact on the highest level of motorsport in the last 30 years.

Now, in a letter sent to Red Bull staff by Mateschitz’s son and 49% shareholder of the company, Mark, a new management team has been revealed in which the former CEO’s responsibilities are divided into three.

While Franz Watzlawick has been named CEO of the company’s drinks business and Alexander Kirchmayr has been named chief financial officer, responsibility for the company’s projects and investments has been handed over to Oliver Mintzlaff, a former racer bottom-turned-commercial who worked for the German sportswear brand Puma. until joining Red Bull in the early 2010s.

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Mintzlaff’s new role means he will oversee the management of the Red Bull brand in F1, which won its fifth constructors’ championship this season since entering the sport in 2005 and is on a run of two successive drivers‘ titles with starman. Max Verstappenas well as sister team AlphaTauri.

The 47-year-old has been heavily involved in Red Bull’s growing footballing business in recent years, working first with former liverpool manager Gerard Houllier when the Frenchman was head of world football at the energy drink giant, before taking on the role full-time himself when Houllier stepped back due to health issues.

In 2014, Minztlaff became CEO of RB Leipzigoverseeing the club’s rise to the lower leagues of German football in the later stages of the UEFA Champions League after the Red Bull takeover, and remained in that role until this morning when he resigned due to his new promotion.

Earlier this year he was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea after Todd Boehly took over the club, but insisted he wanted to stay with Red Bull, saying: “I’m under contract with Leipzig. until 2026, I will fulfill my contract here with great pleasure,” he told Sky Sports in his native country. “We still have a lot of plans. Not just on the pitch. I feel good here in Leipzig. .

Born in Styria, Austria during the reign of Nazi Germany in 1944, Mateschitz discovered the drink that would become Red Bull in Thailand while marketing toothpaste for his employer. In 1984, he co-founded the Red Bull company with Yoovidhya, and the revamped drink has since become a market leader, selling more than nine billion cans worldwide in 2021 alone, according to brand figures. Red Bull turned Mateschitz into a billionaire, with Forbes valuing his wealth at over $25bn (£22bn) before his death.

Max Verstappen credits Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz with his rise to F1 glory (Picture: Getty)

Mateschitz decided the best way to market Red Bull was to associate the brand with high performance in extreme sports, which led to a desire to build the F1 team that changed the sport forever.

Following Mateschitz’s death, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insisted the day-to-day running of the Milton Keynes-based team would not change.

“The future is set,” explained Horner. “[Dietrich] has laid a very solid foundation for the future. And with, in 2026, Red Bull becoming a power unit manufacturer, that was the missing piece of our puzzle, and it had the vision to enable that to happen. And just as we did with the chassis, we will bring that same spirit, its spirit, into the future engine company.

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