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Marcus Jadotte, led NASCAR’s diversity initiative, leaving sanctioning body

Apr 16, 2014, 7:29 PM EDT

Marcus Jadotte

Marcus Jadotte, one of the leading forces behind NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program over nearly the last decade, announced Wednesday that he’s leaving as the organization’s vice president of public affairs and multicultural development.

Jadotte is expected to remain as a consultant to the sanctioning body, which also will expand its relationship with Teneo Strategy, a strategic advisory firm that began working with NASCAR in 2013.

“During his nine years at NASCAR, Marcus has made a truly meaningful impact on our business,” NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France said in a media release announcing Jadotte’s departure. “Thanks in large part to Marcus’ passion and leadership, we have become a leader in diversity and inclusion among the sports industry, and we will continue to deepen our commitment in the years ahead. We are grateful for his years of dedicated service to NASCAR.”

Jadotte joined NASCAR in March 2005 and oversaw the development and growth of the Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Pit Crew Development programs. These programs stressed developing the skills of promising female, Asian, Latino and African-American drivers and crew members in the sport.

Jadotte also spearheaded NASCAR’s relationship with Rev Racing, which fields teams and offers opportunities for minorities and females in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

“The NASCAR ecosystem reaches nearly every facet of the American economy, so it was particularly gratifying to have worked with leading NASCAR stakeholders and to have contributed to the sport’s development over the last nine years,” Jadotte said in a statement. “I am especially grateful for the professional support and friendship I have received from Brian France and NASCAR President Mike Helton during my tenure.”

NASCAR executive vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell will add leadership of the Drive for Diversity program to his duties, as well as the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program and annual NASCAR Diversity Awards, which were started by Jadotte.

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