McLaren boss Ron Dennis steps down after selling shares
Ron Dennis CBE will step down as chairman of McLaren and sell his shareholdings in both McLaren Automotive and McLaren Technology Group after 37 years at the helm of the business.
McLaren Automotive and McLaren Technology Group will sit under a new holding company, McLaren Group, with Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company and TAG Group remaining as majority McLaren Group shareholders.
The Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa will become McLaren Group’s executive chairman, with Dennis, who has spent 51 years working in Formula 1, continuing to pursue a career as a consultant.
Ron Dennis CBE said: “I am very pleased to have reached agreement with my fellow McLaren shareholders. It represents a fitting end to my time at McLaren, and will enable me to focus on my other interests. I have always said that my 37 years at Woking should be considered as a chapter in the McLaren book, and I wish McLaren every success as it takes the story forward.”
He continues: “Perhaps my greatest satisfaction is the Formula 1 team’s outstanding racing safety record, which is a tribute to the dedication and efforts of hundreds if not thousands of talented and conscientious employees whom I have had the privilege of leading.
“I will continue to consult for various companies and work with the UK Government’s Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory Panel in helping to improve the technology, the culture and the organisations that together safeguard the UK’s national security.”
Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa commented: “I would like to pay tribute to Ron’s immense contribution to the McLaren success story over the past 37 years. That ethos remains at McLaren, and I am very proud now to be assuming the position of Executive Chairman, alongside Mansour, my fellow Executive Committee principal, who will continue to work with me to drive McLaren Group forward to new successes.
“There will be time in the near future to outline our plans, for the coming months and years will be an extremely exciting time in the story of McLaren.”
During his 37 years at McLaren, Dennis led the team to 158 Grand Prix wins and 17 Formula 1 World Championships, managing some of the greatest drivers in the history of motorsport (including Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton, who all won World Championships under Ron’s management) as well as the world-renowned Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1995.
In 2004 Ron announced the launch of McLaren Applied Technologies, which focuses on applying motorsport-bred innovations and technologies so as to improve the performance and product innovation of blue-chip companies in a wide variety of industries.
In 2010 Ron oversaw the formation of McLaren Automotive, now one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance sports cars.
On December 18th 1980, Ron merged the former Team McLaren with his own company, Project Four, to form McLaren International, then valued at £3 million. Fewer than 100 people were employed by the new company at that time. In the 37 years since then, supported by the investment of TAG Group in 1984, Ron has presided over a period of remarkable and prodigious growth. The McLaren Group is today valued at £2.4 billion, had a combined turnover in 2016 of £898 million, and now employs more than 3400 people.