Ron Dennis steps down as McLaren chairman and chief executive
By: S.H. Harding, Xiro Xone News November 15, 2016 Updated: 10:55 PM
Ron Dennis has stepped down as McLaren’s chairman and chief executive following a board meeting on Tuesday.
Dennis time in Formula One spans 36-years with McLaren, which led to 182 grand prix victories, seven constructors’ championships and 10 drivers’ titles with some of the most iconic names in the sport. Formula One drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, and of course Lewis Hamilton who became world champion under his leadership in 2008.
The announcement Dennis was stepping down as chief executive and group chairman come after a long time feud with Mansour Ojjeh, who, like Dennis owns 25% of McLaren, and Mumtalakat. Ojjeh had become more closely aligned with Bahrain’s Mumtalakat investment fund, which owns the other 50% per cent of the shares.
In a statement Dennis said other shareholders had "forced through" his departure despite warnings of dire consequences.
The statement 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 at 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."
Dennis will retain his shareholding in the group but his statement hints he already has plans beyond McLaren.
"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 I have been altered in recent years but have been unable to take up while being so committed to the existing business.”
Ron Dennis begin life in Formula One as a mechanic for the Cooper team when he was 18 years old, he then joined McLaren in 1980.