Aston Martin has made another high-profile appointment by recruiting former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh as Group CEO of its Performance Technologies division.
Whitmarsh, who will take up his new role on October 1, was an integral part of McLaren's success during his 25 years with the team from 1989 through to 2014, working in a variety of senior positions.
Primarily, Whitmarsh was Group CEO before taking on the role of team boss from 2008 to 2014.
Under his leadership McLaren diversified its business activities beyond its core of F1, launching McLaren Automotive and McLaren Applied Technologies.
With Aston Martin, Performance Technologies will encompass F1 and will also develop, apply and take to market the group’s technical capabilities and intellectual property, with the aim of providing best-in-class innovation, engineering, testing and manufacturing services across a variety of key industry sectors.
Whitmarsh said: "I have known and admired Lawrence [Stroll] for many years, and I have always been extremely impressed by his formidable business acumen and his seemingly inexhaustible ambition.
"Equally, I have always respected ‘Team Silverstone’, if I can call it that, which has often punched above its weight under its various previous incarnations, and which now has the weight with which to punch harder than ever before.
“Lawrence intends Aston Martin to win Formula 1 world championships, plain and simple, and I would not have joined him in that endeavour unless I was utterly convinced that it was an entirely achievable aim.
"I know what it takes to win in Formula 1, and, inspired by Lawrence’s leadership and backed by the skill, passion and resolve of the workforce, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure that our team becomes the winning operation that Lawrence is determined that it should be.
“Last but far from least, I am very enthused about the formation of the new Aston Martin Performance Technologies, under which corporate umbrella Aston Martin Formula 1 Team will sit, and I am excited about the prospect of developing and applying our technical capabilities and intellectual property as a successful and profitable new business.”
Stroll has confirmed Whitmarsh will "enjoy senior leadership responsibility and will assist and support" him in setting the new strategic direction for Aston Martin Performance Technologies and its subsidiaries.
This includes "the crucial objective of leading the transformation of Aston Martin into a Formula 1 world championship-winning organisation within the next four to five years, and evolving it into a £1billion business over a similar time period."
Stroll added: “Martin has enjoyed a long, successful and high-profile career, spanning the motorsport, automotive, aerospace, marine and renewable energy sectors.
"Moreover, he is a proven winner in Formula 1. He is, therefore, the ideal person for the job of working with me and our senior management team to lead and inspire our workforce to future success both on and off track.”
During his time with McLaren, the team won over 100 grands prix, a number of titles that included its last in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton was crowned champion.
Since leaving F1, Whitmarsh has taken on a number of roles, including his present position as chairman of BAR Technologies, a technology start-up business focused on bringing innovative solutions to enhance the efficiency of marine products and reduce carbon emissions in the sector.
Whitmarsh is also chairman of Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, a company formed with the support of the Government and the industrial sector, while he is also a senior commissioner of the Hamilton Commission, sparked by the seven-time F1 champion and designed to promote diversity and inclusion in the motorsport sector.
Welcoming Whitmarsh to the team, Aston Martin team principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer said: “Martin is an experienced and capable business leader, extremely successful for McLaren in Formula 1, and I am very much looking forward to working with him.
“His role will be a new one, to establish and lead an exciting new brand extension: Aston Martin Performance Technologies. It will also encompass Formula 1.
“Our ambitions are to win in everything we do, and, despite the increasing scope and future growth of our off-track activities, our focus on winning in Formula 1 remains undiminished.
"Martin’s arrival will allow me to put 100 per cent of my energies into making Aston Martin a winning machine.”
What do you think?
"I know what it takes to win in Formula 1"
Yes, he's called Ron Dennis.
Whitmarsh seems very good at managing a company, but not necessarily winning titles. Wasn't it his idea to try Matrix Management at McLaren? It seemed like a good idea, but whilst it cut bureaucracy between divisions, it also meant nobody knew who was in charge.
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