McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt resigns

McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Officer 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.

The carmaker controlled by Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat has been repairing its finances after the pandemic halted production and scuppered the Formula 1 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.

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