Marketing boss Sami to leave McLaren
16 February 2017 – McLaren Marketing CEO Ekrem Sami is to leave the team after 35 years' service.
Sami, who has overseen the team's sponsorship and commercial deals, says he feels that "now is the right time" to step away, and expects "to formalise my departure some time in late March".
"I don't mind admitting that it feels a bit strange to be announcing that I'm moving on from McLaren, the company to which I've devoted almost all my professional life," said Sami.
"However, I'll continue to work on the projects with which I'm already engaged.
"Over the past 35 years I've worked with some truly brilliant people, and I want to say thank you to them all. Our successes were a team effort in the most fundamental way.
"I'm looking forward to broadening my professional outlook into the wider sports and entertainment sector, after being so immersed in the weird and wonderful world of Formula 1."
McLaren's new Executive Director, Zak Brown, paid tribute to Sami.
"Whatever Ekrem chooses to do with the rest of his professional life, I'll always regard him as a McLaren man through and through," said Brown, who worked with Sami via his marketing agency.
"His commitment and work ethic remain absolutely second to none.
"I feel privileged to have worked with him for so long – not only recently as his McLaren colleague but also, over many years, as his close associate, during my time at Just Marketing International.
"I don't mind admitting that I learned a hell of a lot from him. His commitment to the McLaren cause has never wavered, and you'd have to look very hard to find a man who works harder than he does.
"Bearing all that in mind, I'm confident that he'll excel in whatever areas he next chooses to ply his trade. He and I will definitely stay in touch, but I'll miss being his colleague. We all will."
McLaren experienced significant change over the winter; Ron Dennis was ousted as Chairman, while it also parted ways with CEO Jost Capito and Team Manager Dave Redding.