McLaren Boss Ends His 35-year Tenure

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Ron Dennis’ 35-year tenure as the boss of McLaren has come to an end.
Dennis, 69, quit after being told by fellow shareholders on Tuesday that he must give up his position as chairman and chief executive of McLaren Group.

He did not want to step down and failed in a High Court bid last week to prevent McLaren putting him on ‘gardening leave’.

In a statement, Dennis said he was “disappointed” and called the grounds for his removal “entirely spurious”.

He remains on the boards of McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive and retains significant shareholdings in both.

Dennis owns 25% of McLaren Group, Bahrain’s Mumtalakat investment fund owns 50% and the remaining 25% is held by Dennis’ long-time business partner Mansour Ojjeh, a Saudi-born Frenchman.
Dennis and Ojjeh, the chief executive of the TAG Group, fell out some years ago and the 64-year-old Ojjeh has sided with the Bahrainis in trying to remove his former friend.

It was felt Dennis’ autocratic style was ill-fitted to growing McLaren in the future.
Dennis said the other main shareholders “forced through” the decision “despite the strong warnings from the rest of the management team about the potential consequences of their actions on the business”.

He added: “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 1 World Championships and grown into an £850m-a-year business.

“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.

“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.