Mark Turner has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The Englishman replaces Knut Frostad, who stepped down from the role at the end of 2016 after seven years in charge.
Turner will begin the new role in June, leaving his position at OC Sport, the global sports marketing company he founded, in order to do so.
Turner competed in the Volvo Ocean Race's predecessor, the Whitbread Round-the-World, as a sailor in 1989. He has also competed in the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Mini Transat and masterminded his compatriot Ellen MacArthur's second place finish in the 2001 Vendée Globe.
He founded OC Sport in 1993 and went on to establish the successful Extreme Sailing Series and Haute Route mass participation cycling events.
Adept at opening up new markets to sailing events, Turner pioneered the creation of the Dongfeng Race Team project for the 2014/15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Turner has stepped down from his board position at OC Sport and relinquished his shareholding.
“There probably isn’t any other post in sailing that could have attracted me today after taking OC Sport through so many different areas of the sport over the last two decades,” said Turner.
“It is a significant responsibility for me to take over the leadership from Knut, who has done such an excellent job of transforming the race in to the sport’s biggest and most commercially viable top-level event.
“As the race with the most significant global footprint in both media and business-to-business terms, and a fascinating history dating back to 1973, there is a huge responsibility not only to the numerous stakeholders, Volvo, and the other team and event partners, but also to the sport of sailing in general. It’s a platform that can really help shape the future of the sport.”
Henry Stenson, chairman of the Volvo Ocean Race board, said: “It has been a long and thorough process, but I know that in Mark we have found the right person to take on this very challenging role.
“We need a man with the expertise, determination and vision to take the event to the next stage after all the great work done by Knut, and Mark has all these attributes in abundance. The future under his guidance looks very exciting indeed.”
The 13th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, which will run across 2017 and 2018, is scheduled to begin in October next year.