It’s a rumour that’s been doing the rounds for a while, but Ron Dennis has finally announced that he is stepping down from his position as chairman and chief executive of the McLaren Technology Group – which basically he’s stepping away from the F1 team.
According to Ron he was required to stand down after the decision was taken by the board of shareholders at McLaren, a decision he’s openly disappointed with about as he makes clear in a statement (which thankfully contains very little in the way of Ronspeak):
“I am disappointed that the representatives of TAG and Mumtalakat, the other main shareholders in McLaren, have forced through this decision to place me on gardening leave, despite the strong warnings from the rest of the management team about the potential consequences of their actions on the business. The grounds they have stated are entirely spurious; my management style is the same as it has always been and is one that has enabled McLaren to become an automotive and technology group that has won 20 Formula One world championships and grown into an £850 million a year business.”
Despite having to step down Dennis will remain both a board member and shareholder of McLaren (both the MTG and Automotive divisions).
Ron took over the running of the then-struggling McLaren team in 1980, before which he ran the successful ‘Project Four’ team in junior series – hence all McLarens since being named ‘MP4’. He remained as Team Principal until 2009, when he handed the reigns over to Martin Whitmarsh (remember him?!) before taking charge again in 2014.
During Ron’s time at the helm the team won 10 Drivers’ Championships and seven Contructors’ Championships, though it’s been a significant amount of time since they won either.
For the board members, that was clearly sub-optimal.