Michael Leiters confirmed as new McLaren CEO
Former Ferrari Chief Technical Officer, Michael Leiters to be reunited with ex-Porsche boss Michael Macht at McLaren
Commenting on his appointment, Michael Leiters said 'I could not be more excited to be joining McLaren Automotive as CEO at this important moment in its journey. McLaren is already recognised as one of the world’s most admired luxury supercar companies. I look forward to growing that reputation for our loyal customers, employees, fans and partners as we write the next chapter in McLaren’s illustrious history.'
Leiters joins after a stint as Chief Technology Officer at Ferrari, following a career at Porsche that saw him play an integral role in the Cayenne’s development. During his time at Ferrari he oversaw the introduction of turbocharged mid-engined V8s, the continued development of the company’s naturally aspirated V12 models, and the launch of Ferrari’s first hybrid production hyper and supercars in the SF90 and 296. His last project will see Ferrari launch its first SUV, the Purosangue later this year.
Following a management restructure carried out by Ferrari at the end of 2021 Leiters, along with chief brand diversification officer Nicola Boari and chief manufacturing officer Vincenzo Regazzoni left the company.
McLaren has been without a CEO since Flewitt’s departure in October 2021, with former Porsche CEO Michael Macht (who had recently joined McLaren’s board) running the company day-to-day on an interim basis. Leiters worked at Porsche under Macht’s stewardship, with the former a key member of Macht’s team responsible for bringing the Cayenne to market.
The appointment comes alongside sustained news of McLaren's potential collaborations with OEMs, including the possibility of a complete buy-out by Audi – although prospects of that have now cooled. Instead, there has been suggestions that BMW is now in discussions with the British firm, but in the context of a technical partnership rather than a full financial takeover. In order to deliver on its Horizon2030 strategy, which will see McLaren only offer hybrid or fully electric vehicles by the end of this decade, the company is expected to need to work with someone such as BMW on the development of new powertrains and electrical architecture, in a similar structure as Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz.
Having overseen Ferrari’s first steps to a hybrid future, as well as product diversification away from supercars, Leiters’s credentials place him in a strong position to lead McLaren to achieve its ambitions. And crucially, survival.