Not knowing much about Brabeck-Letmathe, other than the fact he is the chairman of the Nestle Group, I thought I'd do a little research...
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is an Austrian businessman who made his career with Nestle, starting out as a salesman in 1968 and working his way up to CEO.
When in charge of Nestle, Brabeck-Letmathe oversaw a period of extraordinary growth in sales. At the same time, he worked to streamline processes to reduce costs while embedding the Nestle brand in emerging markets.
From the sounds of it, he's a pretty ruthless businessman. While being interviewed for the 2005 documentary We Feed The World, Brabeck-Letmathe said that the concept that water was a basic human right was 'extreme', and that it should have commercial value as a foodstuff.
It is an approach to capitalism and profit that isn't entirely unknown in Formula 1, where the application of ethics and business is often criticised by the world at large.
And from the sounds of it, a profit-driven business chaired by Brabeck-Lethmathe will involve expansion outside its core competencies, if the following extract from a profile in Time is anything to go by:
Brabeck pooh-poohs the notion that a company should focus tightly on its core competency. Nestle's big challenge, he says, "is that we have to be able to learn how to get operational efficiency with a relatively complex business structure. This is what I think real management is all about. The other thing is much too easy." Rather than narrow its focus, he believes that a well-managed and flexibly organized consumer-goods company can sell dog food and ice cream--as well as coffee, water and candy--and gain advantages in marketing, purchasing and distribution over more specialized firms.
Should Brabeck-Letmathe apply that kind of thinking to Formula 1, the sport might see an increase in efforts to market the sport through a variety of media in an attempt to attract a wider fanbase.
We shall see...
Image via www.time.com.