Ekrem Sami announces decision to leave McLaren Marketing
After thirty-five years' service, McLaren Marketing CEO Ekrem Sami has announced his decision to move on.
Mansour Ojjeh (Executive Committee Principal, McLaren Technology Group) said: "I've known Ekrem for thirty-four years – and, from the moment I first met him, I recognised in him a first-rate commercial mind and an unbelievable determination to succeed.
"Those early days were stressful but exciting – and, when we began to achieve world championship successes in the mid-to-late '80s with the likes of Niki [Lauda], Alain [Prost] and Ayrton [Senna], inevitably it was our superstar drivers and our brilliant engineers who seemed to get the lion's share of the credit.
But, behind the scenes, Ekrem's clever but dogged commercial work was just as important. Again and again it was Ekrem who would successfully capture the valuable sponsor-partnerships that our rivals so coveted, and as a result we were able to fund the car-development programmes that enabled us to win and win and win again.
"On behalf of all at McLaren, I want to take this opportunity to thank Ekrem for his truly gigantic contribution, and to wish him continued success in the future".
Ekrem Sami himself commented: "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. But now is the right time.
"However, I'll continue to work on the projects with which I'm already engaged, and I expect to formalise my departure some time in late March.
"Over the past thirty-five 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.
"As for my own plans, 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".