Williams: the next generation
Congratulations are due to Claire Williams (Sir Frank’s daughter) on her new appointment to the Board at WilliamsF1 – and to her new role as Director of Marketing and Communications. A tough fighter, like her Dad, Claire has in recent years been working on the Media side of the team. Now, with Dominic Reilly leaving Williams at the end of this month, Claire is taking on the difficult role of sponsorship procurement and management. She’ll do well, I believe.
Simultaneously, with his 70th birthday coming on April 12, Sir Frank will be stepping down from the Board at WilliamsF1 – but not – many F1 fans will be pleased to hear – as Team Principal.
“It is no secret that Claire is my daughter,” said Sir Frank in his own, inimitable, style today, “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.”
Jonathan Williams, Claire’s equally-talented brother, continues to work at Williams on driver-management and the huge portfolio of past WilliamsF1 machinery. He also has close connections with the iSport GP2 team.