McLaren Automotive announces Michael Leiters as new CEO

Published: 27 April 2022

► Ex-Ferrari CTO now heading up McLaren cars
► Leiters takes over from Mike Flewitt
► There’s a big list in his in-tray…

Michael Leiters, ex-Ferrari chief technology officer, has been appointed CEO of McLaren Automotive. Leiters takes over from Mike Flewitt who stepped down in October 2021.

At McLaren, Leiters will need to steer the brand out the other side of aftershocks of the pandemic that hit Woking hard, keep an eye on how the launch of the long-delayed Artura pans out, and work on further electrifying the brand in the years to come.

Leiters has had an incredibly strong career to date, working as CTO at Ferrari. He’s Maranello at the forefront of technological innovation while staying true to the brand’s heritage. The Ferrari V12 is alive and kicking thanks, in part, to him, while introducing technological tour-de-forces like the plug-in SF90 Stradale.

It also raises questions as to whether Leiters could set off a development plan to create a McLaren SUV. While Flewitt told CAR in 2020 that it would not build one, now Leiters is in charge that position might change. Remember, Leiters had a career at Porsche and was at the forefront of developing the original Cayenne. His time at Ferrari has seen Maranello finally confirm an SUV-like car is coming later in 2022.

‘I couldn’t 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,’ says Leiters in a statement on the announcement.

Paul Walsh, executive chairman of McLaren, adds that Leiters’ ‘extensive industry leadership experience combined with his passion for engineering and future technology will help guide and develop our team as we enter an exciting second decade.’

McLaren’s car division announced that Leiters’ first day will be 1 July 2022.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches