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Sir Frank steps down from Williams board

ESPNF1 Staff
March 2, 2012 « Red Bull hiding nothing - Webber | Shifting balance puzzles Ferrari »
Sir Frank Williams: "I have decided to signal the next stage in the gradual but inevitable process of handing over the reins to the next generation" © Sutton Images
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Sir Frank Williams will step down from the board of directors of his Formula One team on April 1, but is staying on as team principal and will continue to attend board meetings.

Now 69 years old, Williams founded the team in 1977 and has led it to nine constructors' titles and seven drivers' titles. Chairman Adam Parr is in charge of the day-to-day running of the team and Williams said his decision was the next step in his gradual handover of control.

"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," Williams said. "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."

The Williams family will continue to be represented on the board by Frank's daughter Claire. She has worked in the team's PR department for a decade and will now step up to become director of marketing and communications following Dominic Reilly's decision to leave the company.

"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," Williams said. "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."

Parr added: "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."