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Ron Dennis steps down as McLaren's chairman

Ron Dennis has been forced out as chairman and chief executive of the McLaren Technology Group and placed on gardening leave.
Ron Dennis has been forced out as chairman and chief executive of the McLaren Technology Group and placed on gardening leave with immediate effect to see out the remainder of his contract.

After 36 years with the British team, the majority shareholders have voted to see Dennis step down from his current role as chairman and chief executive and will be on gardening leave until his current contract runs out in January.

Last week, Dennis had a High Court injunction rejected which aimed to prevent him being ousted from his role at McLaren. The decision will mark the end of McLaren's current stewardship with Dennis as he looks to move on in 2017 to set up a new technology investment fund.

LAST WEEK: Dennis set to be ousted from McLaren over takeover bid

Dennis will remain on the Boards of both MTG and McLaren Automotive Limited and a significant shareholder in both companies. The 69-year-old currently holds a 25% share of the McLaren Group, with Bahraini Mumtalakat investment fund controlling 50% and the remaining 25% held by Dennis' long-time business partner Mansour Ojjeh.

After Ojjeh and Dennis fell out some time ago it appears the Saudi-born Frenchman has sided with the Bahrainis to uproot Dennis, something the former McLaren team principal says is 'disappointing' having been placed on gardening leave.

“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,” Dennis said.

“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.”

Dennis has confirmed he will continue to play an active role within the McLaren fold but in what capacity the 69-year-old will be able to manage or implement change is unclear.

“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.”

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Dennis has been a mainstay of the McLaren brand for more than three decades, helming it to 12 Formula 1 drivers' titles and eight constructors' titles.

However, it hasn't won a race since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix and its most recent collaboration with engine supplier Honda has struggled to yield results.

McLaren currently sit sixth in the F1 world constructors' championship having improved upon its worst-ever season in the sport in 2015 when it finished ninth and recorded just six top ten finishes between its two drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

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by Haydn Cobb

Tagged as: Mclaren , Dennis

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November 15, 2016 8:06 PM

headline is wrong. it should read "ron dennis sacked as mclaren chairman". anyway, he has to be credited with running macca for so long, even if he has caused its recent decline. it is always unpleasant to see any f1 stalwart go, so even though i have no time for him, lets be grateful for his contribution.


November 15, 2016 6:31 PM

Quarter-based economics fit poorly for the racing world but I suppose business is business to investors. I just hope these investors bail out before they run the thing entirely into the ground.

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