Born and raised in California, Zak raced professionally around the world for 10 years before developing his skills within motorsport's business and commercial worlds. Now Chief Executive of McLaren Racing, Zak and his family have currently settled in the UK although he travels extensively in his role.
At the age of 20 Zak travelled to Europe to pursue his professional racing career, following the accepted path to Formula 1 through karting, Formula Ford and Formula 3, before returning to the US to compete in IMSA and Formula Toyota Atlantic.
During his tenure at the helm of JMI, Zak and his team negotiated some of the highest profile deals in motorsport such as Crown Royal's partnership with NASCAR which lifted the sport's 58-year restriction on spirits sponsorship, the largest Formula One Official Partner (at the time) with UBS, and IndyCar's title sponsorship with Verizon.
He has been named in the Sports Business Journal's Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame, the annual Formula One Power List and the NASCAR Power List.
When JMI was acquired by CSM Sport & Entertainment, a division of Chime Communications PLC, in 2013, Zak became the company's Chief Executive Officer. He relinquished that post in the winter of 2016 to embark on his journey at McLaren.
As Chief Executive of McLaren Racing, Zak reports directly to the McLaren Group's Executive Committee and has overall responsibility for the business, including strategic direction, operational performance, marketing and commercial development. In this senior leadership role Zak leads McLaren's direction and involvement in professional motorsport, spearheaded by the McLaren Formula 1 team.
Away from McLaren, Zak sits on the board of Cosworth Engineering, the global technology and engineering business, a position he has held since 2012. In January 2016 Zak was appointed non-executive chairman of the Motorsport Network, the pre-eminent global motorsport media group, providing strategic guidance and insight to the group as it continues to grow.
Zak pursues his passion for motorsport privately as a co-founder and partner in United Autosports, the unique Anglo-American team that has won multiple championships, including the 2016 European Le Mans Championship. Zak races his own collection of historic racing cars, which are prepared and maintained by the team at United Autosports, and has competed in many classic racing events, including the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, Daytona 24 Hours, Le Mans Historic 24 Hours, and the Spa 6 Hours.