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Ron Dennis forced out as McLaren boss

Ron Dennis has been forced out as chairman and chief executive of McLaren. His effective dismissal after more than three decades followed a boardroom dispute at the Formula One team.

Dennis confirmed the development in a statement released on Tuesday following a decision by the majority of the team's shareholders to put him on "gardening leave" until his contract expires in mid-January.

"I am disappointed that the representatives of TAG and Mumtalakat, the other main shareholders in McLaren, have forced through this decision to place me on gardening leave, despite the strong warnings from the rest of the management team about the potential consequences of their actions on the business," Dennis said.

He also dismissed complaints about his management style, which is said to be abrasive at times. 

"My management style is the same as it has always been and is one that has enabled McLaren to become an automotive and technology group that has won 20 Formula 1 World Championships and grown into an £850m-a-year (987 million euros, $1 billion) business," he said.

According to media reports Dennis found himself at odds with the majority shareholders after he presented them with a $2-billion takeover offer from a Chinese consortium last week. While he supported the bid, it didn't go down well with the majority.

Dennis had applied to the High Court in London last Friday for an injunction to prevent the boardroom shake-up but it was turned down.

Dennis had previously stood down as McLaren team principal in 2009 but returned as chief executive in 2014.

The 69-year-old Englishman, who has been with the Formula One team over the past 35 years, holds a 25 percent stake in the McLaren Technology Group. Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh also holds 25 percent of the business, with the remaining 50 percent in the hands of Mumtalakat a Bahrain-based sovereign wealth fund.

pfd/sb (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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