Long-term McLaren boss Ron Dennis has been required to be removed from his role as CEO and Chairman after over 35 years in the sport with the British brand.
Since the 80’s Dennis has been at the forefront of British motorsport, winning in Formula One with iconic drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen and more recently Lewis Hamilton. After handing more responsibility of running the team to Martin Whitmarsh in 2009, Dennis returned in 2013 after the relative poor performance of the team and was instrumental in the return of Honda to McLaren after 25 years.
The news hasn’t come with any surprise though, with suggestions over the summer his contract wouldn’t be renewed, despite him owning 25% of the company. A tabled buy-out also failed, with majority Bahraini ownership.
A statement from Dennis this afternoon said: “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,” the statement reads.
“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.
“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.”