The 50-year-old German engineer will officially take over at McLaren on July 1 and is expected to get the British brand back on track after being plagued by COVID-19 from 2020 to now.
Michael Leiters will lead McLaren from its current headquarters, the McLaren Technology Center, and an adjacent manufacturing facility in Surrey, England, where 100% of McLaren cars are hand assembled and finished.
Michael Leiters has held senior positions at Porsche in the past, but his most successful period was as Technical Director at Ferrari, when the Italian automaker was enjoying sustained record growth. The two sides parted peacefully in late 2021 when new Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna took over to steer the Italian marque through the electric car era.
The appearance of the former Ferrari boss at McLaren is intended to give the British brand a more open ideology, particularly in areas where the company is still too stubborn, like SUVs. Although not yet at the danger threshold, McLaren is unlikely to be able to catch up with Italian competitors such as Ferrari or Lamborghini in view of the galloping growth.
McLaren remains focused on the traditional sports car lineup and the F1 racing segment.
Prior to the appointment of the new CEO, McLaren was actively applying hybrid drive technology to its product lines such as Artura, but failed to get the boost it wanted.