Ron Dennis, a man synonymous with McLaren itself, may lose his role as CEO of the McLaren Technology Group in a row with McLaren’s investors, reports the UK’s Telegraph. Dennis has been involved with the team since 1980, taking it from a struggling Formula One team to a world championship winning technology powerhouse and supercar builder.
Dennis currently serves as chairman and CEO of the McLaren Technology Group, which is the overarching conglomerate that holds McLaren Applied Technologies, McLaren Racing and the McLaren Technology Center. He has held that role since replacing Martin Whitmarsh in 2014.
Unfortunately, he has had a falling out with longtime business partner Mansour Ojjeh, according to the Telegraph. Dennis has been trying to buy out Ojjeh’s 25 percent stake in the company as well as the 50 percent stake held by the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund, but he hasn’t been able to raise the cash.
In addition, Apple was apparently one of the parties Dennis was trying to woo to invest in McLaren to fund such a buyout, along with some Chinese investors, the story said. Unfortunately for Dennis, none of them came through with the dough.
As a result, Dennis may find himself forced out as chief executive. Ojjeh and the Bahrainis will most likely not renew Dennis’ contract as CEO at the end of the year, the story said. He won’t be leaving the company, as he’ll still own a 25 percent stake in it, but he won’t be the head over it all anymore, either.
Dennis insists he won’t leave voluntarily, and a McLaren spokesman reiterated to the newspaper Dennis’ adamant statement that nothing would change. (Jalopnik has also reached out to McLaren for comment and will update this post if we receive a response.)
During his time at McLaren, the F1 team racked up an impressive seven constructors’ championships and 10 drivers’ championships. McLaren also developed three-time world drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton into a superstar, bringing him his first world drivers’ championship with the team in 2008.
It’s been rough lately for the F1 side, however, as a renewed partnership with Honda hasn’t translated into results.