In an article at Autosport, Ron has been quoted as being â€œhacked offâ€ about the entire Ferrari, Mclaren, Honda-gate. He said that it is something beyond the control of McLaren and that friends who have known him are proverbially dancing on McLarenâ€™s grave.
Mr. Dennis: You are the leader of McLaren. You hired Mr. Coughlan and represent the board, employees and sponsors of the organization. I, too, would be hacked off but I humbly suggest that you realize the stain will be on you as the leader of this company. It is not so much â€œdancing on McLarenâ€™s graveâ€ as it is disgust with the situation, its ramification on the sport and a singular event involving three teams. I think you are a man of integrity and run your organization similarly and it is a shock that this happened. But as a leader; you would do well to call a press conference, admit that your employee was involved, that you are working with the FIA, Ferrari, Honda and the Italian authorities on ferreting out the entirety of the situation and will stand as the singular voice for McLaren with whom all responsibility will lay. You have said this attacks your integrity and character; again, I submit that how you handle this will be bigger than the actual espionage committed by your employee. Donâ€™t become Teflon coated and suggest that it was beyond McLarenâ€™s control. While you may feel this is reasonably true, and I would agree with you, ultimately the employee took competitive information and you represent McLaren.
I personally feel you are a better man than to try to pin this all of Nige and Coughlan and avoid McLarenâ€™s involvement. Tylenol had no idea their packaging was being compromised and contaminated with poison several years ago but they took control of the situation and displayed a modicum of leadership.
I have found that in life it is more important to do the â€œgoodâ€ thing than it is to do the â€œrightâ€ thing. The right thing here is to look at Nige, Coughlan et. al. and blame them for doing things you were not privy to as well as bring litigation to bear on both of them. The good thing is to display exemplary leadership for your employees, board members and sponsors and lead the situation instead of become reactionary to it. Just my opinion. By the way, Ferrari and Honda have an obligation to in this as well and are not completely exonerated from what their employees did. They too can be leaders in a time of leaderless, calculative espionage by men who seemingly displayed a complete lack of judgment.