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McLaren gets new group CIO

Karen McElhatton has been appointed McLaren’s new CIO, following former IT boss Craig Charlton’s departure in February

The McLaren Group has hired Karen McElhatton as CIO to lead the company’s digital transformation across its racing, applied technologies and automotive businesses.  

McElhatton takes over from former group CIO Craig Charlton, who left McLaren in February 2018 to become group CIO at catering company Compass.

She will drive forward McLaren’s commitment to putting technology at the heart of its operations, and ensure collaboration across its partners.

Commenting on her new role, McElhatton said she is “thrilled” to be joining the company “at a time when each of our businesses is building innovative, ambitious and exciting plans for the future”.

“I am looking forward to working with the excellent technology professionals we have at McLaren, and collaborating with our strategic partners to deliver the high-performance technology experiences our colleagues, customers and fans across the world expect from us,” she said.

McElhatton, originally from New Zealand, has held several IT leadership positions across the manufacturing and retail sectors, including at TJX International and Procter & Gamble. Most recently, she was chief digital officer at luxury brands retail group JAB Luxury.  

Jonathan Neal, chief operating officer at the McLaren Group, said McElhatton’s appointment “will ensure our IT provision is perfectly equipped to handle the evolution and development of the group’s three core businesses, both strategically and technologically”. 

He added: “McLaren puts technology and IT at the core of its operation as a force multiplier in a high-performance culture. The scope of [McElhatton’s] role will ensure we are embracing and developing new and existing technologies while working with our partners and suppliers to ensure our IT discipline remains at a world-class level.”

The McLaren Group, which is best known for Formula 1 racing, is also a manufacturer of luxury sports cars, and has a technology arm that focuses on innovation in the health, public transport, automotive and motorsport sectors.

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