Sir Frank Williams has today announced that he will relinquish his post on the board of the Grand Prix team that bears his name, with the 69-year-old confirming that this will be the first in a series of moves to hand over the reins of his World Championship winning team.
However, he has made it clear that, for the time being, he will continue to remain as Team Principal and majority shareholder of the Grove outfit.
“This is an opportune moment for me to consider my own role in the team,” he is quoted as saying in the team’s media release.
“I turn 70 in April and I have decided to signal the next stage in the gradual but inevitable process of handing over the reins to the next generation by stepping down from the Board at the end of this month.
“This is not as dramatic a move as it may appear: I shall continue to work full-time as Team Principal and I shall continue to attend all Board meetings as observer. I also remain the majority shareholder of Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC.”
Williams’ announcement comes in the wake of a similar board departure for team co-founder Patrick Head, who opted to retire from the F1 team at the end of last season.
His position will be filled (both in title and on the executive board) by Williams’ daughter, Claire (pictured), who has been an employee in the team’s marketing operation for over ten years.
“[While] it is no secret that Claire is my daughter, I am proud to say that she has fought hard to earn this appointment and of all the battles she has had to fight, the prejudices of her father were not the least challenging,” Williams added.
“Dominic Reilly has proven a unique talent in the field of sports marketing and filling the gap he leaves was daunting. But I have come to the view that Claire, with her profound love and knowledge of the sport and the team, can do so and I am proud and delighted that the Board has given her this opportunity.”
Last week, Williams had indicated that the team’s current chairman, Adam Parr, was in line to succeed him when he eventually opts to hand over the entire running of the team.
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