In a surprise move, McLaren has just announced its Chief Executive Officer will step down from his position after eight years at the helm of the company’s automotive division. Flewitt joined McLaren as COO back in June 2012 and was promoted to CEO in July the next year.

Under Flewitt’s management, McLaren expanded its model lineup by launching several new products. These include the McLaren GT, McLaren Artura, and the McLaren Ultimate series, consisting of Senna, Senna GTR, Speedtail, and Elva. He also helped the automaker grow a wider customer base and enter new markets on the global supercar scene.

Gallery: McLaren Elva Gulf Theme by MSO

Prior to joining McLaren nine years ago, Flewitt was VP of Manufacturing at Ford of Europe and Corporate Officer at Ford’s global structure. Before that, he held different senior positions at TWR, AutoNova, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley.

“I feel incredibly proud to have led McLaren Automotive through most of its first, highly-successful decade and am privileged to have played a part in the incredible McLaren story. This young company’s success is a testament to the many passionate and talented people I have had the pleasure of working with and I look forward to seeing that success continue,” Mike Flewitt comments.

McLaren has announced it hasn’t appointed a successor to Flewitt and it is currently searching for a new executive to take his role. Until that process is completed, McLaren Group non-executive director Michael Macht will take control of all technical and operational functions at McLaren Automotive, while the sales, marketing, and PR departments will report to Paul Walsh.

“Mike has been instrumental in McLaren now being recognised as one of the world’s leading luxury supercar brands, achieving the heights of success that have taken our competitors many more decades to achieve. We thank Mike for his tremendous contribution and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours,” Paul Walsh, Executive Chairman, comments.