McLaren confirmed today the appointment of Zak Brown as their new Executive Director, replacing the recently departed long-term McLaren boss Ron Dennis, and will start on a yet to be confirmed date next month.
Brown has become one of the most influential commercial figures in motorsport, after his former company JMI (Just Marketing International) brokered many sponsorship deals within the sport, including that of Martini and Williams. He recently stepped down from his role within the company, of which he sold and has since moved into other sporting arenas, although motorsport has always been at heart.
The American was also touted as a possible successor to Bernie Ecclestone, given his commercial experience within the sport, but decided to take a high powered job at one of the most historic teams. He said in a statement:
“I’m immensely proud to be joining McLaren Technology Group. I have the utmost respect and admiration for what the business has achieved to date, and I look forward to contributing to the next important phase in its development.
“Having worked closely with McLaren for many years, I’ve been struck by the talent and ambition of the entire workforce, and I very much look forward to complementing the business’s many existing strengths, and building on them to drive future success in everything we do.
“As founder of Just Marketing International (JMI) – now the world’s largest motorsport marketing agency – I’ve often worked closely with McLaren as I say, and I’ve developed some excellent relationships across the company. Together we’ve delivered some great sponsorship deals, including Johnnie Walker, GSK, Hilton, Lenovo, Chandon and NTT.
“Best of all, in my new role I’ll be able to combine my absolute passion with my unparalleled area of expertise – respectively motorsport and marketing – while ensuring that the two stay totally aligned.”
The appointment of Brown has been described as “Zak’s appointment will be a significant part of a restructuring programme that will align the Group’s commercial and strategic operations relating to achieving success in Formula 1.”