Revamped Petty team loses its CEO

Lisa Brown has left her position as CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports to become senior adviser to Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial Corp.

Brown orchestrated the restructuring of the Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup program under its new ownership group and guided the company through that transition. She will now help Murstein build his latest venture, Medallion Sports Media, which was launched in April.

“Medallion has had a long and successful track record investing in media and outdoor advertising companies,” Murstein said. “Lisa has a long and successful track record as an executive, including her role in helping Richard Petty Motorsports become one of the premier teams in all of NASCAR. We are excited to have Lisa join us to help build Medallion Sports Media.

“With her many industry contacts and great networking and marketing savvy, we will form a formidable team. In addition to helping with sponsorship sales at Richard Petty Motorsports, Lisa will also assist with sponsorship sales of other motorsports companies, as well as our network of minor-league baseball stadiums around the US.”

Murstein said that the move will help all of the group’s companies.

"By moving Lisa from RPM to one of our other companies, Medallion Sports Media, we believe we strengthened both companies," he said. "Medallion has investments in over 300 companies and we constantly move our talented executives from one company to another if it’s to everyone’s benefit. Perhaps similar to how Hendrick shuffled their crew chiefs, we constantly evaluate what the best position is for our executives and have the ability to react and move quickly on opportunities.

"Lisa is a New Yorker, and many of her relationships are with New York firms and Madison Avenue executives. I think its great to be able to afford having experienced sales and marketing people both in Charlotte and New York so you can have all of the bases covered."

During the past nine months, Brown brought stability to a racing organization that was on life support last fall under the direction of George Gillett. She fought for Petty to regain control of the company that bears his name through a permission-based sale. Brown coordinated with investors Ford Motor Co. and Roush Fenway Racing, and the deal was closed in the last week of November.

Brown became CEO on Nov. 26.

“Lisa Brown‘s experience, perspective and level-headedness was critical in helping the Petty organization navigate what was an extremely tough situation last fall,” said Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark. “I think her guidance was a key part of their ability to survive.

“Hopefully, with her new position at Medallion, we’ll be able to continue to work with her going forward.”

Brown, who honed her business and leadership skills as president of AOL’s Interactive Marketing, CEO of Maverick Communications Inc., president and CEO of USA Electronic Commerce Solutions (ECS) and at USA Networks and Cox Communications, streamlined Richard Petty Motorsports from a fledgling four-car operation to a secure two-car team with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose.

“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to work for Andy,” Brown said. “He’s not only a terrific deal maker, he’s also a visionary in advertising and marketing, having started the first Taxi Top advertising business. Medallion Financial is a first-class organization as is Medallion Sports Media."

Brown introduced the Nautica brand to NASCAR and will roll out several additional new sponsors for RPM through the remainder of the season.

“In the brief time Lisa Brown spent at Richard Petty Motorsports, I found her to be energetic, enthusiastic and a team player,” said Jamie Allison, director Ford Racing. “I feel I’ve made a good friend and wish her all the best.”