McLaren announce arrival from Chelsea FC in latest staff appointment

Jon Wilde
McLaren logo. California November 2019.

McLaren logo displayed at a dealership. California November 2019.

McLaren have made a key transfer signing with the acquisition of a new Chief Communications Officer, Steve Atkins, from Chelsea FC.

During the summer football transfer window it was Chelsea making the headlines as they splashed the cash following the club’s takeover by Todd Boehly, but after the arrivals of Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and co, Atkins is heading for the exit.

Joining the McLaren Racing Executive team, where he will report directly to CEO Zak Brown with effect from December 1 2022, Atkins brings 30 years of communications and PR expertise from some of the most fast-paced and challenging environments.

At Chelsea, he is the club’s official spokesman, regularly representing the ownership group, club board, head coaches, players and all employees.

Atkins has been listed in the top 10 most influential people in PR Week’s Power Book in the sports and entertainment category since 2016, being voted the most influential communicator in football in 2020, ’21 and ’22.

“I am delighted to take up the position of Chief Communications Officer at McLaren Racing, an iconic global brand with a unique heritage and outstanding core values,” said Atkins.

“I look forward to working with the hugely talented staff across this storied brand’s five race teams to deliver best-in-class communications for McLaren and its partners.

“As it heads towards its 60th anniversary, McLaren Racing still pushes tirelessly for greater success and seeks to find the advantage and competitive edge in everything it does. I’m thrilled to be joining such an ambitious, innovative and impressive organisation.”

Brown added: “We are very excited to welcome Steve to the McLaren Racing leadership team as our new Chief Communications Officer.

“Communications has never been more important as we look to achieve our ambitious growth plans.

“Steve is a fantastic leader and brings a wealth of communications experience from sport and government that will prove invaluable in helping us maximise opportunities and navigate any challenges.

“He has a proven track record of delivery in some of the toughest environments. I know he will be a great fit with the team and look forward to him joining and helping us create an exciting future for McLaren Racing.”

Before his time at Chelsea, Atkins was Deputy Press Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington D.C. His time in the US capital covered a period that included the Kosovo war, the September 11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath, and military action in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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