Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC today announced that Claire Williams will join the Board with effect from 1 April 2012 as Director of Marketing and Communications. At the same time, Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal, announced his decision to step down from the Board.
The key marketing position at Williams has become available following the decision of Dominic Reilly to leave the Company at the end of March.
Adam Parr, Chairman, said, “Claire has worked at Williams for 10 years, taking on increasingly demanding positions and demonstrating throughout all of the qualities needed in this critical role. Claire will be accountable for acquiring new partners for the Williams F1 Team as well as continuing to be responsible for ensuring effective communication about the team and the Group as a whole. The Board concluded that Claire’s appointment would further strengthen its quality, diversity and effectiveness. I would also like to join Frank in expressing sincere thanks to Dominic Reilly for eight years’ of dedicated service to Williams, during which he has been highly successful in acquiring and working with our partners. Dominic plans to set up a new venture, with the support of Williams, and we wish him great success.”
Frank Williams, Team Principal, said, “It is no secret that Claire is my daughter but 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. 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. I am equally delighted that Dominic will remain close to the team with his new venture and that we can thank him for his contribution to Williams by supporting him now.
“This is an opportune moment, also, for me to consider my own role in the team. 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. Nonetheless, I shall be looking to Claire to represent the Williams family on the Board and I know that she will work tirelessly alongside Adam to make the Group and the team just as successful as we can be.”