McLaren Automotive Ltd. CEO Mike Flewitt will step down after eight years leading the closely held company, which has started a search for a successor.
The Woking, England-based supecar maker said Wednesday that Michael Macht, a McLaren Group non-executive director, will oversee technical and operational functions, while Chairman Paul Walsh will lead sales, marketing and public relations. Flewitt joined McLaren as chief operating officer in June 2012, and became CEO just over a year later.
“I feel incredibly proud to have led McLaren Automotive through most of its first, highly-successful decade and am privileged to have played a part in the incredible McLaren story,” Flewitt said in a statement.
Flewitt has steered McLaren through expansion in Asia, introduction of new generations of hybrid cars, potential takeovers and possible market floatation. He has been credited with expanding the carmarker’s offering to include the limited production Ultimate range of McLaren hypercars, the McLaren GT and the hybrid McLaren Artura.
The carmaker, controlled by Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, has been repairing its finances after the pandemic halted production and sidelined the Formula One racing franchise. In July, McLaren raised 550 million pounds ($755 million) from existing investors and the sale of preference shares and equity warrants to new backers Ares Management Corp. and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. It also raised $620 million from a bond issue.
In April, the company sold and leased back its headquarters in Woking, near London. And late last year, McLaren Group agreed to sell as much as a third of its racing unit to a consortium of U.S.-based investors.
Combining with a blank-check firm is an option McLaren may consider around mid-decade if all goes well with its restructuring efforts, a person familiar with the matter said in December of last year. Such deals have been popular among auto manufacturers, with Volvo Car Group-backed electric-vehicle maker Polestar announcing a combination with a special purpose acquisition company last month.
McLaren Automotive was set up in 2010 to rival the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin. The group was founded in 1963 by Bruce McLaren and is known for winning races with drivers such as Lewis Hamilton.