Currently reading: Ron Dennis back at the helm of McLaren Group
Dennis reappointed as group chief executive officer and charged with carrying out a thorough overhaul of the company
Matt Burt
1 min read
16 January 2014

Ron Dennis has been re-appointed as chief executive officer of the McLaren Group with immediate effect. He has been charged by the company’s shareholders to “improve its on-track and off-track performance”.

Dennis assumes a role previously held by Martin Whitmarsh, who is also team principal of the Formula 1 outfit.

Dennis was previously CEO of the Woking-based group from 1982 to 2012, when he stepped aside. He became group chairman in 2013, and was also team principal of the Formula 1 team between 1982 and 2009.

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, while 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 CEO and working with my many colleagues and fellow shareholders to fulfil our objective – which is to win at whatever we do.”

Dennis will remain chairman of McLaren Automotive, the company’s high-performance road car arm.

It isn’t yet clear how today’s announcement affects Whitmarsh, who last year presided over McLaren’s first winless F1 season since 2006.



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16 January 2014
So Whitmarsh is being held entirely responsible for the performance of a car (and team) designed, developed and produced almost entirely before his appointment. Yes. That makes perfect sense.


16 January 2014
... 2013 was McLaren's worst F1 season since they started in '66.

Whilst Whitmarsh cannot be held fully responsible he has certainly presided over several consecutive years of (relative) failure, with no sign (as yet) of any improvement.

I welcome Ron Dennis' return to the helm, it can only be a good thing for McLaren's F1 hopes. If there are a few sacrificial lambs, so be it.

16 January 2014
There is no doubt that McLaren has been going through some very difficult times on track some of which may or may not be Martin Whitmarsh's fault. However he is in charge and has to carry the can.

At times like this very strong leadership is needed and the whole debacle over Perez' contract is a good indication that all is not well at the helm as are other decisions. Ron Dennis on the other hand could never possibly be accused of being anything other than a strong leader, possibly even too strong, but in order to turn around the team and the company's future, I am of the view that its that kind of strong determined leadership that will be required.

Obviously just my view.

17 January 2014
.....Mr Whitmarsh is just one of those people who are an excellent No.2 but cannot quite fulfil expectations as the top man - and having to follow someone like Ron Dennis is an almost impossible task for even a very capable man like Whitmarsh, who would never even have got that far if he was not very good.

17 January 2014
I'm doubtful if Dennis would make a lot of difference now. He was the first one to be absolutely meticulous and organized in running a F1 team. They all do it now so competition is far more intense. I am prepared to be proved wrong.

17 January 2014
If only there was an experienced team principal available to take over at the drop of the hat with the knowledge and ability of someone like Ross Brawn...

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