Zak Brown announced as new McLaren executive director

McLaren has announced that Zak Brown will be the new executive director of the McLaren Technology Group (MTG).

The 45-year-old American will report directly to the MTG’s executive committee and will work with CEO Jonathan Neale in the structural reorganization of the company. Brown will oversee the commercial and strategic operations in an attempt to bring the struggling team back to the top of Formula 1.

"Having worked closely with McLaren for many years, I've been struck by the talent and ambition of the entire workforce, and I very much look forward to complementing the business's many existing strengths, and building on them to drive future success in everything we do,” said Brown in a statement.

Brown is one of the most influential motorsport media owners in the world, and also has an impressive record of bringing big-name sponsors to other racing series including NASCAR and IndyCar.

The appointment of Brown comes in the aftermath of the dismissal of Ron Dennis by the MTG board last week. Sky News reported that Dennis was ousted after presenting a surprise ₤1.65 billion takeover bid for the McLaren group on behalf of an unnamed group of Chinese investors.  

The proposed takeover bid enraged the other MTG shareholders, who removed him as chief executive in an emergency board meeting.

Despite being forced out of his job at MTG, Dennis retains a seat on the board and his 25% shareholding in the company. Another 25% of the shares are owned by Mansour Ojjeh and the remaining 50% are owned by Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat.

The Sunday Times reported this past weekend that Dennis is considering taking legal action against Ojjeh and Mumtalakat for the decision to remove him as chief executive.

McLaren has been one of Formula 1's most successful teams since entering the sport in 1966. The team has 8 constructor's and 12 driver's championships to their name, and have won 182 grands prix.

In recent years times have been tough for the team, and they have not tasted victory since Jenson Button won the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Image: McLaren F1 / Twitter