Riad Asmat has been promoted to the position of Group CEO within the structure that oversees Team Lotus, Caterham Cars, Caterham Team AirAsia, merchandising, engineering and all related interests.

Tony Fernandes and fellow shareholders Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin have confirmed that the move takes place with immediate effect, rewarding Asmat for his efforts in helping get not only the F1 effort off the ground, but also raising the associated sections of the business.

He was a key player in the establishment of Team Lotus in 2009, combining his experience and knowledge of the Malaysian, ASEAN and global automotive and motorsport industries to help lay the foundations for a platform that would enable Team Lotus to compete at the highest level within a manageable timeframe. Under his tenure, Asmat has overseen the growth of the F1 team, as well as establishing the already victorious Team AirAsia GP2 operation, assisting the acquisition of Caterham Cars and establishing a number of related businesses, including a growing merchandise division.

"I am very honoured to be given the chance to help lead such an exciting group of companies, and to be able to play my part in helping lead us on to the future successes that will come our way," Asmat commented, "Big challenges lie ahead of us but, with the inspiration and passion of Tony, Din and Nasa to call on, and the support of the talented, dedicated people we have in each of our group companies, I am excited about what lies ahead.

"In F1, the goal remains the same - grow over the long-term and achieve our goals in realistic timeframes. Next year, we need to take another step up and we have the building blocks in place to enable us to do that. On the road, we will be producing cars that are efficient, light, technologically innovative and, crucially, cars 21st century consumers across the globe want to buy. We have a wealth of talent, knowledge and experience driving our core businesses forward every day and that ensures a very bright future for us across all our interests."

Fernandes, who recently added the Queens Park Rangers football club to his list of assets, insisted that there was no better individual to take control of the group.

"We are absolutely delighted Riad has taken on the role and could not have placed our faith in a better person to lead our businesses forward," he noted, "We first met Riad in 2009 and we were immediately struck by his passion, hard work and determination to succeed - he will be an inspirational leader for a very talented group of people working across all our group companies. Riad is not alone in having a unique attitude to wanting to achieve great things - the same can be said for each and every person we have working across the group and that foundation gives us the best possible chance of achieving our long-term goals, whichever industry we are involved in."