Sunday 1st June 1947
Born on this day, Ron Dennis, British businessman and Official British Business Ambassador for The United Kingdom. Dennis is the Global Consultant for Minsheng Investment Corporation and also owner of Absolute Taste. He is best known for his former role as owner, CEO, chairman and founder of McLaren Technology Group. Dennis was removed from his McLaren management roles in 2016 but remains a director of the company and a 25% shareholder.
Between 1981 and 2009, Dennis was the team principal of the McLaren Formula One team, and was instrumental in transforming the outfit into a regular world championship contender. Constructors’ and drivers’ world championships were won with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen and Lewis Hamilton.
After being handed a three-page business plan by a chef for his Formula One team, he set up a catering company, Absolute Taste, today retaining 55% of the company.
In January 2007, Dennis sold half of his 30 percent shareholding in the McLaren Group to the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, leaving him with a 15 percent share. In 2009, Dennis, together with co-owners Mansour Ojjeh’s TAG Group and the Bahraini Mumtalakat Holding Company, bought back Daimler AG’s 40 per cent shareholding in a deal that was concluded in 2011. As of January 2014, Mumtalakat hold 50 percent of the Group’s shares, with Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh holding 25 percent each.
Ron Dennis was placed at number 648 in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006 with a net worth of £90 million, however The Times put his wealth at £200 million in 2009. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2011, Dennis’ net worth is estimated to be £177m. In April 2014, it was stated he had a net worth of approx. £300m ($513m). His net worth grew in 2014 when he purchased McLaren Group.
Aside from McLaren Group, he is also one of six British business persons to be an official British Business Ambassador for advanced engineering and manufacturing. Dennis is also a main trustee for Tommy’s, a miscarriage help charity. He is the Global Consultant for the state owned China Minsheng Investment Group and also the chairman for the UK Summit. With interests in foreign trade, Dennis also became Chairman of the British East Asian Council in 2014. Before the merger with Louis Vuitton, Dennis was a major shareholder in the luxury watch maker TAG Heuer, along with his business partner, Mansour Ojjeh.
In December 2014, he attempted to purchase 50% of McLaren Technology Company from Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Ojjeh, after shareholder relations worsened, but the investment deals Dennis had arranged failed to materialise and the shareholding structure remained as before. Dennis tried to purchase the company again in October 2016, with an estimated bid of 1.7bn, but Ojjeh and Mumtalakat wanted Dennis out, refusing his bid and consequently in November 2016, Ojjeh and Mumtalakat placed Dennis on ‘gardening leave’ for two months, and will not have his contract renewed in January 2017 when it expires. He remains 25% shareholder of McLaren Technology Group as well as retaining his ‘company director’ role, and 11% shareholder of McLaren Automotive, as well as is role there as Chairman and ‘company director.