Brown accepts McLaren role after Dennis exit

Ron Dennis

Ron Dennis has run the McLaren team since 1981

Formula 1 commercial expert Zak Brown has accepted a senior role running the McLaren Group following the departure of Ron Dennis.

Brown will take on the position after Dennis was last week put on gardening leave by fellow shareholders pending the end of his contract in January.

The new role taken by 45-year-old Brown, former boss of marketing company JMI, is to be announced imminently.

He rejected a senior position at F1’s owners Liberty Media to accept the job.

A McLaren spokesman refused to comment.

Dennis, 69, remains chairman and chief executive officer but following the collapse of his relationship with the other shareholders he is no longer actively engaged in running the company, although he remains a board member by virtue of his shareholding.

Dennis owns 25% of McLaren, with Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign investment fund owning 50% and Saudi-born French businessman Mansour Ojjeh the remaining 25%.

Ojjeh and the Bahrainis forced Dennis out of the company last week after a breakdown in their relationship.

Dennis is reportedly considering whether to launch a legal action against his fellow shareholders but has already lost one bid in the High Court in which he attempted to prevent them putting him on gardening leave.

Brown was revealed as a major contender for a role running McLaren by BBC Sport last month and he decided over the weekend to accept the position on offer.

He was of particular interest to McLaren because of his success in finding sponsors for a number of teams in his former role at JMI.

McLaren have not had a title sponsor since parting company with mobile phone company Vodafone at the end of 2013 and Dennis’ failure in that respect was among the reasons for him being forced out.

He also fell out with Ojjeh, a former friend and business partner of more than three decades, some years ago and the pair have failed to patch up their relationship since.

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