Ron Dennis Is Completely Out at McLaren After 37 Years
The longtime company leader has sold his shares for a reported $358 million.
Ron Dennis, the man who played a critical role in growing McLaren into the supercar-peddling, Formula One-competing dynamo that it is today, is formally and completely disassociated from the car company where he worked for the last 37 years after selling his shares for a nine-figure sum.
Dennis was responsible for combining Team McLaren with his company Project Four to create McLaren International back in 1980. In the interceding years, he helped lead the company's Formula One team to 17 world championships and a total of 158 Grand Prix victories. In the 21st Century, he helped transform the F1 team's know-how into McLaren Applied Technologies, which develops motorsports-inspired tech, in 2004, and McLaren Automotive, which builds supercars like the 12C and P1, in 2010.
Dennis sold his 11 percent share of McLaren Automotive and his 25 percent stake in the McLaren Technology Group for a combined £275 million (approximately $358 million at current exchange rates), according to Autocar.
The McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive will be tied together under a new holding company known as the McLaren Group. Bahrain's Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa will be named as the group's executive chairman. The McLaren Group is valued at £2.4 billion, according to the company, and employs more than 3,400 people.
In a statement, Dennis expressed pride in his time at McLaren.
“I am very pleased to have reached agreement with my fellow McLaren shareholders," he said. "It represents a fitting end to my time at McLaren, and will enable me to focus on my other interests. I have always said that my 37 years at Woking should be considered as a chapter in the McLaren book, and I wish McLaren every success as it takes the story forward."
The former chairman's divestiture comes hot on the heels of McLaren's announcement that sales were up 99 percent in 2016 over the previous year, largely thanks to the sales of the carmaker's "cheaper" Sport Series models like the 570GT.
While Dennis may have been gracious in his official statement, the CEO was reportedly forced out by other major shareholders. Dennis's former business partner Mansour Ojjeh reportedly convinced the the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company to show Dennis the door over his, shall we say, dictatorial leadership. Dennis took the other shareholders to court in an attempt to fight for his position, but his efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.
On the plus side, though, he now has enough money to buy a whole bunch of other supercars, just to piss McLaren off.