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Ron Dennis steps down from McLaren role

15 Nov 2016

Ron Dennis has been forced to relinquish his position as chairman and chief executive officer of the McLaren Technology Group (MTG), following a meeting of shareholders on Tuesday.

Dennis, who has been part of McLaren since 1980, helping lead the F1 team to 17 world championship titles, was placed on gardening leave until his current contract expires in January. He remains on the board of MTG and a shareholder.

The news follows ongoing disagreement between Dennis and the group’s majority shareholders over management style and the future path of the business.

Dennis, whose F1 career started in the 1960s as a mechanic for Cooper, took control of the McLaren team in 1981 and remained team principal until early 2009, when he handed over the reins to Martin Whitmarsh in order to concentrate on the group’s other business interests.

During his tenure as team leader, McLaren enjoyed several periods of F1 domination, with Dennis guiding the squad to no less than 10 drivers’ crowns, with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and - most recently - Lewis Hamilton.

In a statement on Dennis’s departure, McLaren said: “Over the past 35 years Ron’s contribution to the success of McLaren has been colossal. During his tenure the team won 17 world championships and 158 Grands Prix, making him the most successful leader in Formula One history. Like the company’s founder, Bruce McLaren, Ron is and will always be one of the true greats of the sport.”

Dennis intends to launch a new technology investment fund once his contractual commitments with McLaren expire.