Dennis replaces Whitmarsh as McLaren CEO in a coup d’état

Martin Whitmarsh with Ron Dennis

Martin Whitmarsh with Ron Dennis

In what is dramatic coup d’état Ron Dennis has returned as CEO of McLaren replacing Martin Whitmarsh at the helm of the Woking based organisation.

The following statement was released to the media today: “McLaren Group today announced that Ron Dennis CBE, Chairman of McLaren Group, has been appointed to the additional role of Group Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Group, with immediate effect. Mr Dennis, a shareholder of McLaren since 1980 and the architect of its modern era, was the CEO of the Group from 1982 to 2012 and the Team Principal of the McLaren Formula 1 racing team from 1982 to 2009 before becoming Chairman of the Group in 2013. ”

Although it is not apparent who will be the McLaren team principal in 2014 and beyond, it is clear that Whitmarsh is in the process of being ousted or ‘redeployed’ in the aftermath of one of the team’s worst seasons ever endured by the team.

Whitmarsh was previously Group CEO as well as Team Principal. Dennis was group chief executive from 1982 to 2012 and team principal until 2009.

McLaren with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez endured one of their worst season's ever

McLaren with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez endured one of their worst season’s ever

Out of work, after leaving Mercedes, Ross Brawn must be considered as the top contender to head the organisation’s illustrious Formula 1 operation.

In a 20-minute address to assembled McLaren employees at the Woking factory, Dennis assured them that “there will be change” (at the former World Champions) and that “we will win again”.

Following his appointment Dennis said, “My fellow shareholders have mandated me to write an exciting new chapter in the story of McLaren, beginning by improving our on-track and off-track performance.”

“Over the coming weeks I intend to undertake a thorough and objective review of each of our businesses with the intention of optimising every aspect of our existing operations, whilst identifying new areas of growth that capitalise on our technologies, and where appropriate, further investing in them.”

“During February, I will articulate a new Group strategy and implement the organisational structure best suited to achieving it. I am excited by the prospect of returning to the role of Group Chief Executive Officer and working with my many colleagues and fellow shareholders to fulfill our objective – which is to win at whatever we do.”

Sources indicated that there have been no change of shareholdings at McLaren, which is half-owned by Bahrain’s investment fund Mumtalakat, and nobody had been sacked or made redundant.

Dennis will remain chairman of McLaren Automotive, the marque’s successful high-performance road car company. (Apex-Reuters)

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  • ninjamonk

    Wait for it 123…. Ross Brawns phone is ringing 😉

  • Dean C

    At bloody last!

  • matthew

    Yes!!!!! Whitmarsh is useless and mclarens 2013 results prove it!!!! I love being right all the time. It’s too bad perez wasn’t saved, he had a great last part of the season.

  • LOL

    Great news! Bouilier would have been better than whitmarsh for christs sake! I think the damage may be done though. mclaren fans may have to wait until 2015 when honda teams up with mclaren and creates an unstoppable force.

  • Jose

    Lewis departed, Big Mac season was a disaster, Perez hustled
    out the back door, adios Whitmarsh baby..
    Ron is back, it had to happen..Call it a coup if you like,
    this change was in the cards when Hamilton elected to


  • sebolonso

    Hahahaahaaaa…Fernando has to convince Ron, if he wants a seat at McLaren Honda in 2015 which will happen after Kimi has wiped the floor with him at Ferrari in 2014. I just love this. Santander has to pay at least double, plus the 100meur that Fernando caused as fine to McLaren. Ron has no mercy and he loves money:). Poor Santander and poor Fernando, this is a slaugther. What happens with Martin, nobody cares, unless losers.

  • TarasT

    I think Martin should take over for Bernie.

  • fools

    @Seb… Why would it be poor Fernando? Alonso doesnt have to worry about any seat dumb ass. Seat or not…the man sits on more money then YOUR family bloodline combined. Racing or Not. He is wanted by every team on the grid. Has 2 WDC. Voted best driver in 2012. Is the only challenger to Vettel. Has been 2nd twice and ultimately the only driver to contend for the WDC 4x’s in a row. I dont even need to add anymore stats. Keep reading all the previous articles on this site for all that info. Your trolling headline bitch and your blind. These useless trolls always doing there best to suck Alonso d!ck. Go take a shower troll you bloody fool.

    Anyways…@ Matthew also…your not always right. It’s when LH left is when McLaren fell. Where is your IQ?

  • haha

    All you who think that Ross is 100% sure off to Mclaren. It will all depend where Alonso ends up in 2015 or halfway 2014. It will be Ferrari or Mclaren for Ross, but it’s highly unlikely he will go where Alonso is! I dare to bet on that one, as a Tifosi would like to see Alonso leave keep Kimi with Hulk or Bianchi and Ross at the helm of the Scuderia. We don’t need doctor sabotage :D, prefer mister cool as ice!

  • sebolonso

    @fools: Fernando might have the millions, but no pride and no glory, because cheaters are the scum off the earth. He is on off Flavio’s submissive toy boys.

  • O’Ferrari

    I think bringing in perez was seen as a managerial error. While he wasn’t shown up by button, I have a feeling Hulk would’ve beaten button more often. Kobayashi plus Honda? Any chance?

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    Like mark said after crossing the finish line at the 2009 German GP ” YESSSS!! YESSSYESSSYESS!!! YES! Yes! yes!”

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel. This should have happen before the last 3 races of 2013. Perez would have been saved, Magnussen sent crying back to GP3 which will probably happen in 2015. Now Ron needs to SACK Sam michael and a repeat of 1988 in 2015 will be possible! This just made this a Fantastic day!

    Welcome Home Ron. Maybe welcome Ross too? :)

  • ucrebel

    McLaren is in a world of shit and people here are poking fun at the Ferrari drivers? Makes no sense!

  • Eevel

    @Matthew & WestMcLarenMercedes
    Why are you so upset that Perez was sacked?
    McLaren deserve to have the best drivers and that unfortunately doesn’t include Perez.
    He had his chance and after an appalling Abu Dhabi grand prix the writing was on the wall.

    Perez was shown up by Button over the course of the year and needed to go.
    Ron knew this and he is not a man that settles for mediocrity.
    Perez is mediocrity.
    Give Magnussen a chance.
    He has excelled in every category so far, he could be the next Lewis.
    Perez certainly was not so ….. Next!

    I think Perez has found his perfect home in Force India.
    They’ll get much needed funding and a decent enough driver gets to compete in a decent enough team.

  • matthew


    Uh…. you are aware that perez finished with championship points in abu dhabi and button didn’t correct? He finished the entire year 2 points behind hulkenburg with a slower car. (Never thought sauber would be faster than mclaren, but its true!!! Check the times. Your mixing up gutierezes pathetic performance with perezes im afraid.

  • LOL

    The next lewis? That would be a compliment if lewis was anything special.

  • O’Ferrari

    @ LOL

    OUCH! Again, your comments are short and sweet. Excellent.

  • Butterfly

    McLaren needs a mega driver to win, so I’m interested to see who that driver is. In Ron’s mind, it’s that Magnussen bloke, that being a fantasy of his that McLaren needs to “grow” its drivers in-house – like that worked for Lewis…

    Interesting times at Woking, me thinks.

  • Butterfly


    Too right. :-)

  • Hawk

    operation clean house
    next will be Sam Michaels and Jenson Button. I do not see Ron having two ordinary drivers.

  • Red Horizon

    -I think it’s too early to say that Brawn will go to McLaren, more so that he will go to Ferrari. Believe me the place of Domenicali is not at risk, at least in the short term. I think that Domenicali will stay in place for several years to come.
    -It’s also too early to say that the combination McLaren-Honda will became an unstoppable force, or that they will beat all already in 2015. If that happens it will take at least a little more time.
    -As for Alonso, he may return to McLaren, but it’s not sure. It depends on him. As I’ve written before, much will depend on the quality of the new Ferrari technical project and its possibilities of development, and also to what will be the evolution of his relationship with Raikkonen as his team mate. He is waiting to evaluate everything (and let’s not forget also that he’s still under contract with Ferrari). Ferrari understood it and even someone like me who is a Ferrari fan for several years. Then he COULD leave, but nobody knows for sure yet and even he.

  • realf1fan

    All the shareholders at Mcca realizing having your car go a whole season without a win or a podium is just not good enough something we never saw in the 2007-2012 era which seems to coincide with the arrival and departure of a certain driver.

    It will be out with Whitfarce and in with Brawn now that the real deal is back. Cant wait for 2016 when Lewis and Ron will be back together again , father and son of the F1 world.

  • RBC

    Haaaa. Ron told Lewis they could not afford his salary and he left to a better team. Now Ron will come back and make more dumb decisions and screw up the team even more. Haaaa. What a joke. Lewis gets to keep his trophies, and at McLaren he would have had none, not even the fake ones. Brilliant.