Ron Dennis has been a constant figure at McLaren since the early 1980s when his Project Four team merged with McLaren. That merger created one of the most dominant teams of the modern era and made Dennis a legend in the F1 paddock. That time has apparently come to an end.
Statement: Ron Dennis confirms he has today been required to relinquish duties as Chairman & Chief Executive of McLaren Technology Group
— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) November 15, 2016
The BBC reported that Dennis was told by shareholders that he must give up his role as chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group, which includes the F1 team and McLaren Automotive, the company that builds everything from the 570S to the P1. Dennis owns 25 percent of McLaren; Mansour Ojjeh, a longtime business partner, has 25 percent; and the Bahrain-based Mumtalakat investment fund owns the remaining 50 percent.
Apparently, Ojjeh has fallen out with Dennis, having disagreed with him vehemently in recent years, and has started working with Mumtalakat to oust his former friend.
Dennis first came under fire when he began work to find an investor to take back majority control of McLaren, but the Chinese backers that he found have fallen through, and Ojjeh and Mumtalakat have not wanted to give Dennis majority control of the company. In the wake of Dennis’s apparent departure, there have been no reports of Dennis selling his stake in the company.
The removal of Dennis will be a huge change at the company, which has been molded after him and his famous obsession to every single detail and quest for absolute perfection in everything the company does.
The BBC said the leading candidate to replace Dennis at the helm is Zak Brown, an American motorsports marketing pro who has also been linked to a top role in Liberty Media’s takeover of Formula 1. The U.K.’s Sky News reported that Brown has received “offers” from both McLaren and Liberty Media and is expected to decide between them within a week. The BBC noted that, at this point, Brown would be more likely to accept the offer from McLaren. Brown could help entice needed sponsorship for McLaren, which is yet to replace Vodafone as title sponsor.
This story originally appeared on Road & Track.