Former team boss Ron Dennis has been appointed Group CEO of the McLaren Group and has immediately vowed to return the Formula One to the head of the field after a disappointing 2013 season.
Dennis addressed staff for 20 minutes at the teams Woking base on Thursday afternoon. He is believed to have told employees, “there will be changes…We will win again.” Dennis has announced that he will set up a review of the company and its strategies to enable McLaren to “win at whatever we do.” Dennis will remain the chairman of McLaren Automotive.
Current Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh was not present at the address and it is unclear whether he will retain his current position at the head of the F1 team. Whitmarsh is also the Chief Operating Officer of the McLaren Group.
“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,” Dennis said.
“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, whilst 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 Chief Executive Officer and working with my many colleagues and fellow shareholders to fulfil our objective, which is to win at whatever we do.”
Ron Dennis has been a shareholder of McLaren since 1980. He became CEO of the Group in 1982 until 2012. He was also the Team Principal of the F1 team from 1982 to 2009, before stepping down from his position as part of an ongoing spat with the then-FIA boss Max Mosley.
General paddock consensus is that McLaren will announce Samsung at their car launch in January. The announcement was due to go ahead on December 2nd, however the team thought it may be able to generate better publicity fore the brand at the launch.
It follows the announcement by Vodafone at the beginning of the year that they would be withdrawing from the sport. That deal for the title sponsorship and branding on the cars, driver overall and other team merchandise was said to be in the region of $50m per year.
Samsung pulled out of sponsoring the British Superbike team Honda Racing earlier this month which has added fuel to the rumours.
The other leading contender is Procter & Gamble using their Gillette brand. Gillette starting its partnership with Mclaren earlier in 2013 at the Chinese Grand Prix. The companies main focus was on expanding into the Asian market.
Many insiders have said that this deal will be key for Formula One marketing as it will be able to tell where the sport stands after the global financial crisis.
F1 will be considered in ‘good health’ should McLaren’s new sponsor yield a similar return to the partnership with Vodafone. Should the deal fail to impress or impact, then it may well raise some concerns for the sports financial health.
Either way it looks like the future is blue for McLaren.
Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes have been awarded a Silver Medal at the 2012 Edison Awards.
The awards recognise and honour innovation and business excellence. Named after the inventor Thomas Edison, the Edison Awards champions groundbreaking scientific achievement.
After earning their Carbon Neutral status from the Carbon Trust recently, Mclaren were nominated in the ‘Green Implementation’ category. Mclaren, as a company, managed to make savings of 1500 tonnes of CO2 every year, over a three year period.
Achieving the Edison silver medal is a reward that will be seen and recognised on a global scale and allows them to join a whole host of other international brand leaders.
Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “I’m delighted that our ongoing efforts to manage and improve our carbon efficiency have been recognised by the Edison Awards judging panel. This is a fantastic achievement for the whole team.
“The nominees’ list at last night’s ceremony in New York read like a Who’s Who of the great and good in the world of inspirational technical innovation, and I’m immensely proud that our team has been recognised on that list.
“While our silver medal is further validation of the steps we’ve made, and certainly helps showcase our efforts on a global level, it is still merely the starting point for an ongoing and concerted mission to ensure that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes conducts its business in an environmentally conscious and responsible way.”
Volkswagen Group of America came in just ahead of them for the Gold Medal.