McLaren may be courting Zak Brown for CEO role

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Leading Formula 1 commercial figure Zak Brown is rumored to have been contacted by McLaren and offered to succeed current chairman and CEO Ron Dennis when the latter's contract expires at the end of this year.

It is thought that Ron Dennis's position with the McLaren group has come under threat with the 69-year-old manager being told by the company's board that his contract shall not be renewed when it expires at the end of this year.

Follwoing an ongoing power struggle, Dennis, a 25% shareholder of McLaren, may have been pinned in a corner by long-time associate Mansour Ojjeh and Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtakakat who jointly own 75% of the British company.

It is also believed that Dennis' efforts at securing the necessary financial backing to buy-out, in whole or partly, his fellow shareholders and thus acquire a controlling stake within a specific deadline were not successful.

Now, McLaren is apparently courting Zak Brown as a potential successor to Dennis.

The 44-year-old American, who has delivered to Formula 1 some of its biggest commercial deals in the past couple of years, recently stepped down as CEO of sports marketing group CSM.

Many believed the move was Brown's first step in assuming a commercial role at the helm of Formula 1 in the wake  of Liberty Media's takeover of the sport.

It is unclear exactly which responsibilities, in any, Brown may be offered, as McLaren may seek a more conventional corporate structure if Dennis departs, and one which would separate the role of chairman and CEO.

Needless to say, any active involvement by Brown with McLaren would preclude him from assuming any additional responsibilities with Formula 1's new commercial holder. That in itself is an argument which would probably deter Brown from accepting a McLaren offer.

Despite the incessant rumors of his future demise, Ron Dennis has been telling those behind the scenes that he will be the one who will ultimately decide if and when he will step down.

But in the event of a collusion between McLaren's fellow-shareholders, he may not be in a position to enforce that desire.

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