McLaren’s head of marketing Ekrem Sami, has left the after 35 years with the team.
Sami was a key part of the team’s successful growth in the early eighties with Ron Dennis, attracting support from brands some of which remained with the team for decades.
Following a brief stint at Lotus he returned to McLaren in 1988 and had remained there ever since. However he stood down from the McLaren board in December when Dennis lost his position as CEO.
Sami said 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.”
“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.”
McLaren executive director Zak Brown said Ekrem was “a McLaren man through and through”.
“His commitment and work ethic remain absolutely second to none and 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. ”
“Ekrem and I achieved a lot together, and 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. But we wish him well.”
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