Architect of Ferrari SUV takes reins at McLaren


CEO Mike Flewitt stepped down from the top job last year, after promising McLaren would never build an SUV under his leadership.


A McLaren SUV looks to be one step closer, with the appointment of Michael Leiters as CEO overnight.

Mr Leiters is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Ferrari, and in the position oversaw development of the company’s high-riding ‘Purosangue’ SUV.

However, from 1 July 2022 the 50-year-old German will jump ship and take the reins at McLaren’s headquarters in Woking.


Flewitt long said McLaren would never build an SUV under his leadership, however the company has been tight-lipped on plans since his departure.

“I could not be more excited to be joining McLaren Automotive as CEO at this important moment in its journey,” Mr Leiters said in a media statement.

“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.”

Speaking to Autocar in 2019, Leiters said: “I’m convinced [of the Ferrari Purosangue] and the technical concept.”

“The challenge is to open a new segment for Ferrari … The trade-off decision is totally different for us here. We will have totally new engineering challenges.”

William Davis has written for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations, and local environmental policy. As the newest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his attention to detail, writing skills, and strong work ethic. Despite writing for a diverse range of outlets – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report, and Property Observer – since completing his media degree at Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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