By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
The previously unthinkable has come to pass, Ron Dennis has stepped down from his role as Chairman and Chief Executive at McLaren.
The news comes after much speculation since the team’s troubled performance and lack of results in Formula One. Dennis had planned to buyout fellow shareholders Mansour Ojjeh, and the Bahraini Sovereign Wealth Fund in order to take full control over the company. In his attempts to do so he tried and failed at luring tech giant Apple into a potential buyout or investment deal in the Woking based company.
After eponymous company founder Bruce McLaren, no man has done more for McLaren than Dennis, who directed the company to immense success in Formula One, Le Mans, and most recently their road car, and technology projects.
Both Dennis, and McLaren have released statements on the matter. We have included their full text below. The potential fallout from Dennis stepping down could be huge, we will keep you posted on the developments.
“As of this afternoon Ron Dennis no longer holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Technology Group (or its subsidiaries). However, he remains a shareholder and a director of McLaren Technology Group.
Over the past 35 years Ron’s contribution to the success of McLaren has been colossal. During his tenure the team won 17 World Championships and 158 Grands Prix, making him the most successful leader in Formula 1 history. Like the company’s founder, Bruce McLaren, Ron is and will always be one of the true greats of the sport.
McLaren Technology Group is now in the process of seeking a new Chief Executive Officer. Until such an appointment has been made, the company will be run on an interim basis by an Executive Committee comprising the Group’s majority shareholders, in close collaboration with the Board of Directors and the senior management team, all of whom remain utterly committed to the company, its partners, its employees and its fans, and share a passionate determination to build on our many strengths towards future prosperity.”
Ron Dennis confirms that he has today been required to relinquish his duties as Chairman and Chief Executive of McLaren Technology Group (MTG), having led and grown the business and been its creative force for more than 35 years. This follows a decision by the majority shareholders to place him on gardening leave.
Dennis remains on the Boards of both MTG and McLaren Automotive Limited and a signiﬁcant shareholder in both companies. He intends to honour his commitments to the group before launching a new technology investment fund later in 2017.
Dennis said: “I am disappointed that the representatives of TAG and Mumtalakat, the other main shareholders in McLaren, have forced through this decision to place me on gardening leave, despite the strong warnings from the rest of the management team about the potential consequences of their actions on the business. The grounds they have stated are entirely spurious; my management style is the same as it has always been and is one that has enabled McLaren to become an automotive and technology group that has won 20 Formula One world championships and grown into an £850 million a year business. Throughout that time I have worked closely with a series of talented colleagues to keep McLaren at the cutting edge of technology. to whom I will always be extremely grateful.”
“Ultimately it has become clear to me through this process that neither TAG nor Mumtalakat share my vision for McLaren and its true growth potential. But my first concern is to the business I have built and to its 3,500 employees. I will continue to use my signiﬁcant shareholding in both companies and my seats on both boards to protect the interests and value of McLaren and help shape its future.”
“In addition I intend to launch a new technology investment fund once my contractual commitments with McLaren expire. This will capitalise on my expertise, my financial resources, together with external investment to pursue the many commercial opportunities l have been offered in recent years but have been unable to take up while being so committed to the existing business.”