McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has agreed to sell his remaining shares in the McLaren Technology Group (MTG) and McLaren Automotive to the newly formed McLaren Group, the company has announced. Dennis, who took control of McLaren in 1980 was instrumental in its monumental success in Formula 1 as the team principal of the team until 2009. The sale of his shares brings an end to his 37-year old association with the company.
Speaking on the end of his association with McLaren, Ron Dennis said, “I am very pleased to have reached agreement with my fellow McLaren shareholders. It represents a fitting end to my time at McLaren, and will enable me to focus on my other interests. I have always said that my 37 years at Woking should be considered as a chapter in the McLaren book, and I wish McLaren every success as it takes the story forward.”
This only marks Dennis’ formal exit from McLaren. The 70-year-old was ousted from the company as Chief Executive Officer in November last year in a boardroom coup. He now sold his 25 per cent shareholding to the company. Dennis also resigned from his position on board. The reason for Dennis’ ouster has been largely attributed to the soured relationship with Mansour Ojjeh of TAG Group, his business partner at McLaren. Dennis sold his share to the McLaren’s two main stakeholders – Mumtalakat, the Bahrain-based investment fund and Mansour Ojjeh.
During his tenure, Dennis led the Woking-based outfit to 158 Grand Prix wins and 17 Formula 1 World Championships. He also managed some of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula 1 including Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton, as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1995. Dennis also oversaw the launch of McLaren Applied Technologies that was introduced in 2004, as well as the formation of McLaren Automotive in 2010, which has produced some of the world’s best performance cars over the years.
Dennis further added, “Perhaps my greatest satisfaction is the Formula 1 team’s outstanding racing safety record, which is a tribute to the dedication and efforts of hundreds if not thousands of talented and conscientious employees whom I have had the privilege of leading.”
Dennis also played a significant role in cementing the deal with Honda for its engines. The same has been a huge disappointment so far and speculations are McLaren will shift to Mercedes next season for its engines. With respect to the future of Dennis, the F1 veteran said, “I will continue to consult for various companies and work with the UK Government’s Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory Panel in helping to improve the technology, the culture and the organisations that together safeguard the UK’s national security.”
The McLaren F1 team, on the other hand, finally managed to secure its first points in the Azerbaijan GP this season. The team sits last in the constructors’ standings and it is unlikely it will move up from the bottom spots.
With Dennis making an exit, Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa is the executive chairman of the McLaren Group and Mumtalakat the majority shareholder, whereas, Mansour Ojjeh will be the significant minority shareholder in the company.