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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