After a 36-year tenure with Woking based automotive and innovation conglomerate, Ron Dennis hangs the towel as boss of McLaren Technology Group. Dennis’ move to quit came after his fellow shareholders ordered him to give up his position as Chairman and CEO last Tuesday. His position as the group’s head has long since been contested by fellow shareholders over concerns of the company’s direction in the future.
Originally having 25% of shares in McLaren, Ron Dennis joins his long-time business partner Mansour Ojjeh in operating the team. Ojjeh, chief executive of the TAG group, owns another 25% of shares in McLaren himself. The remaining 50% of shares in the team is held by Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Investment Fund.
The Bahraini investors and Ojjeh felt that it was Dennis’ autocratic style of leadership that held back possible opportunities to grow McLaren in the future. Dennis on the other hand did not want to step down but failed to make an appeal in a High Court bid last week to revert the decision of the majority of shareholders.
Despite being ousted, Dennis still holds a position in the boards of McLaren Automotive as well as the McLaren Technology Group and retains significant shares in both groups.
"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," said Dennis. "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. I intend to launch a new technology investment fund once my contractual commitments with McLaren expire."
With regards to finding a replacement for Dennis, a press release by McLaren merely states "(The) McLaren Technology Group is now in the process of seeking a new Chief Executive Officer. Until such an appointment has been made, the company will be run on an interim basis by an Executive Committee comprising the Group’s majority shareholders, in close collaboration with the Board of Directors and the senior management team."
Ron Dennis has been in the McLaren team since 1980 and took full control of the company in 1981. Under his guidance the team has won 10 world driver’s championship titles as well as 7 world constructor’s championships.