McLaren have appointed former Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley to run their 2019 Indianapolis 500 campaign with Fernando Alonso.
McLaren are setting up a team in a bid for the two-time Formula 1 champion to complete motorsport's informal triple crown of Monaco, Indy and Le Mans.
Fernley left Force India after it was taken over by Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll in August.
Fernley will report directly to McLaren chief executive officer Zak Brown.
Brown said Fernley's appointment underlined McLaren's determination to run the Indycar team "as a separate entity to its Formula 1 activities".
"Bob is a fantastic operator and his experience and leadership will be essential for us on this project", Brown said, adding that the 65-year-old was "particularly talented at putting effective teams together and extracting maximum performance with finite resources".
Alonso raced at Indy in 2017, leading 24 laps but retiring in the closing stages with an engine failure as he was poised to mount a challenge for the lead.