Maurizio Arrivabene had to be axed by Ferrari in order to keep Mattia Binotto with the team, according to Piero Ferrari, only living son of founder Enzo Ferrari.
Arrivabene had been in charge of the team for the past four years but Sergio Marchionne, who reshuffled the team a couple of years ago, was seen as the man of power rather than Arrivabene up until his death in 2016.
Before his death he had planned to remove and replace the 61-year-old with Binotto and it has been know that there was a power struggle between the two.
Binotto is now in charge of the team, with a technical director replacement yet to be found.
"Everything happened before Christmas, then for various reasons we decided not to reveal the decision," said Piero Ferrari (sportsmole.co.uk).
"I don't want to go into details, also because I can only speak as a shareholder, but I only say that there was a confrontation between us members and in the end we acted in the exclusive interest of Ferrari.”
"The most important thing that we took into consideration was to guarantee the technical continuity and be able to count on Mattia Binotto's vast competence as being fundamental to building a strong team.”