The upheaval of the management of the Williams F1 team continues in the wake of Toto Wolff’s departure to become motorsport director of Mercedes; CEO Alex Burns has left the company to be replaced by former Janguar and Aston Martin boss Mike O’Driscoll.
O’Driscoll is no stranger to Williams having sat as a non-executive director since 2011. He has a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts from the automotive industry and will act as Group CEO in a new structure which pulls Williams Hybrid Engineering into the same management group as the F1 team.
He will work alongside the recently appointed deputy team principal Claire Williams, Sir Frank’s daughter.
Although it earns a significant amount more than other midfield teams from its commercial deal with F1, thanks to its long history of past success, Williams clearly wishes to increase income by diversifying further, looking for revenue streams beyond its F1 racing and hybrid activities into new business areas around the automotive sector and O’Driscoll is well placed to lead this.
Claire Williams said, “Today’s announcement is not only great news for the company, but is further evidence of the execution of our long term strategy for business success. Mike brings with him a unique mix of skills and capabilities and he is a passionate motorsport enthusiast with significant automotive industry experience. I have every confidence that he can drive the business forward to deliver an improved performance for both the Williams F1 Team and Williams Advanced Engineering.”
Williams also recently took on a new marketing director, Chris Murray, formerly a senior account director at F1’s leading sponsor finder agency Just Marketing.