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McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt has stepped down from his position and will be leaving the company after almost a decade in charge.

Flewitt joined McLaren as chief operating officer in 2012 before being appointed as CEO in July 2013, a position he has held since. A successor to Flewitt has not yet been announced, although a search has already begun for a new CEO.

Flewitt's departure comes just weeks after former Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby and former Porsche CEO Michael Macht were appointed as non-executive directors to the McLaren Group (which includes the Automotive, Racing and Technology businesses) board.

Macht "will assume responsibility for all technical and operational functions" at McLaren Automotive while a new CEO is recruited. Sales, marketing and PR operations will be overseen by McLaren Group's executive chairman, Paul Walsh.

“I feel incredibly proud to have led McLaren Automotive through most of its first, highly successful decade and am privileged to have played a part in the incredible McLaren story," Flewitt said.

“This young company’s success is testament to the many passionate and talented people I have had the pleasure of working with and I look forward to seeing that success continue.”

Flewitt became a high-level executive at quite an acrimonious time for McLaren, which had just launched its first model, the MP4-12C to mixed reviews. Antony Sheriff had spent almost a decade as managing director establishing the company but was placed on gardening leave at the start of 2013 and ended up suing the company for wrongful dismissal.

Flewitt's second role at McLaren was in the newly created CEO position and he soon oversaw the launch of the P1, 570S and the 12C's morphing into the 650S, a car that built on the 12C's undoubted strengths and addressed many of its flaws.

He built a range of cars at McLaren that brought annual sales close to 5000 models in 2018 and 2019. The pandemic, though, hit not only the Automotive division but also the entire McLaren Group hard, with some 1200 job losses in a restructuring last May.

The company is now gearing up for the launch of its first series-production hybrid model, the Artura, which is the first in the next-generation of McLaren models using electrified technology.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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