Earlier this month, news broke that Ron Dennis would step down from his position as CEO and Chairman of McLaren. Dennis has been with the team since the 1980s, and while he will remain a shareholder and non-executive chairman of the automotive division, the news still came as a shock. Now, a week later, a new hire is headed for McLaren F1.
McLaren has just that former racer Zak Brown will take on the position of Executive Director of the McLaren Technology Group, the parent company that includes the F1 team and the supercar company. McLaren says Brown "will be a significant part of a resturcutring program that will align the Group's commercial and strategic operations relating to achieving success in Formula 1." Brown and McLaren Group COO Jonathan Neale will "jointly lead the businesses as part of the first step in the Group's transition to a new and strengthened organizational structure," McLaren said in a statement, noting that the search for a new CEO (to replace ousted boss Ron Dennis) continues.
Brown is a savvy choice to join McLaren. He's a renowned motorsports marketing expert who founded Just Marketing International, an Indiana-based motorsports marketing firm responsible for putting together some of the biggest sponsorship deals in motorsports. After JMI was bought by Chime Communications, Brown moved to London to head up its motorsports work, but resigned earlier this year.
Brown brings a wealth of knowledge on forging deals with sponsors, something McLaren has struggled with since Vodafone left the team years ago.
Dennis came under fire after attempting to work out a deal with Chinese investors to take back majority control of McLaren. That deal fell through and ultimately forced his resignation, but he still retains his 25-percent share of McLaren.
This story was last updated on November 21st, 2016 at 1:00 PM EST with McLaren's official announcement. .