Incoming Team Ineos CEO Fran Millar has pledged to have a more open approach in an effort to win back fans’ trust.
Millar, who was promoted to the newly created role of CEO on June 1, said the British team has done a “shambolic” job of communicating its approach throughout the period when the team was dogged by a series of scandals.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, she said there were a small cohort of cycling fans that would never trust the team, especially after the Fancy Bears leak of Bradley Wiggins’s TUE data; the Jiffy bag scandal and Chris Froome’s salbutamol case, but that there was “a sensible middle ground of the sport and the fans of the sport that deserve to feel that they can trust us”.
She continued: “For me there’s a real opportunity for us [with Ineos taking over] to really change how we talk to people, how we go about our business and operate as an organisation externally. Not internally, because I think we’ve always been true to our values internally but we’ve done a shambolic job of that externally and we’ve got to get better at that.”
Millar reflected on how the public’s perception of the team has changed: “Mid-way through Froome’s salbutamol case there was a moment where I was like, ‘Everyone thinks we’re bad for the sport, how the hell did we get here?’ And it’s almost like at every turning we made the wrong choice for some people. That’s the thing for me as CEO; it’s not going to happen quickly and overnight but I’d like to listen to our critics a bit more, and I’d like to be more open to how do we show you that we’re doing this the right way? I make no bones saying mistakes have been made in the past but we’re not cheats and we’re not doing this the wrong way.”
She said she was keen to be more open about how the team operates: “We get approached all the time by people asking, ‘Can we come and have a look at what we do?’ and we say, ‘Yes, come and have a look at the Tour,’ but I’d like to open the doors to everything. One of our big challenges is it all looks very secret and voodoo. But it’s not remotely. We do the simple things really well, we plan brilliantly and we execute really well.”
Read the full feature in the July 11 issue of Cycling Weekly, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, priced £3.25