McLaren Automotive, the supercar division of McLaren Group, has been without a CEO since last October, when Mike Flewitt, who had led the company since 2013, stepped down.
McLaren Group is on the search for a new CEO for its supercar division and Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported on Tuesday that Michael Leiters is among the candidates.
Leiters served as Ferrari’s chief engineer since 2014, though left the company last December. Prior to his role at Ferrari, he was a senior engineer at Porsche, where he oversaw a lot of the automaker’s early work with hybrid technology.
Currently serving as CEO of McLaren Automotive in an interim position is Michael Macht. He’s a non-executive director at McLaren Group but was the CEO of Porsche from 2009 to 2010.
McLaren Automotive is the most lucrative arm of McLaren Group, which also includes the McLaren Formula One team. However, the division was hit particularly hard by the pandemic and is yet to fully recover. It had to shed workers, and its McLaren Group parent had to sell and lease back its headquarters, sell a stake in the F1 team, and sell the McLaren Applied technology business. McLaren Group also needed additional investment from main shareholder Bahrain and new shareholder Saudi Arabia.
The search for the new CEO at McLaren Automotive comes at a time when there are reports of a possible takeover of McLaren Group by Audi as an avenue for it to enter F1, possibly by 2026 when a new power unit is due to be introduced.