Williams has been forced into another change of senior management after its chairman Adam Parr announced on Monday that he is quitting the team after over five years.
The unexpected news was delivered early on Monday morning, with team owner Sir Frank Williams pointing to Parr’s desire to achieve “a better balance in his life” for the decision to cut his ties with Grove which stretch back to 2006. Former CFO of alcoholic drinks firm Diageo Nick Rose will take over as non-executive chairman with Parr’s leaving date set as this coming Friday (March 30).
After joining the team as CEO, Parr quickly established himself as a trusted lieutenant of Williams and was credited with putting the team on a surer financial footing before being chosen by the team’s founder to succeed him as chairman of the company in July 2010. Last year Parr oversaw the major restructure of the team’s technical department and its historic floatation on the Frankfurt stock market. Only last month in an interview with F1 Racing did Williams describe the trained lawyer as his heir apparent: “If for whatever reason I couldn’t come in to do my job, Adam would fill the gap.”
However, that expected passing of the baton will now not happen after Monday’s announcement. Williams says they part on good terms and thanked him for his contribution to the team’s history.
“I asked Adam to join Williams at the end of 2006 to support me in the running of our team,” he said. “Over five years, Adam’s achievements have surpassed my expectations and I must thank him for his service. Not least for the decisive role he played in the technical changes made last year which are beginning to show through in the team’s improved competitiveness this season, and for leading this company to a successful IPO.
“Adam leaves us on good terms to pursue a better balance in his life for which I wish him and his family well. He has left us in good shape and I have every confidence that the Board and senior management team at Williams will continue to drive the business forward into a promising future.”
After experiencing the worst season in their long and illustrious history last year, Williams have begun this season in much improved form and Bruno Senna’s sixth-place finish in Sunday’s Malaysian GP mean they already have three more points than they achieved in the whole of last season.
Parr, whose time at the team has also coincided with a period of diversification into areas away from F1 including hybrid technology base in Qatar, said: “I am very grateful to Frank for giving me the opportunity to work for Williams over the past five years – a period that has been both challenging and rewarding. Williams is a unique team with over 500 great-hearted and talented people and many superb partners in and out of Formula One. Williams is now set up to move forward and I wish everyone at Grove well.”
The team say that Frank Williams will continue to oversee the company with the support of minority shareholder Toto Wolff, CEO Alex Burns and the rest of the board.