Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC has confirmed that Toto Wolff will be leaving the company with immediate effect to take up a new role with Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. Wolff will be relinquishing his seat on the Williams board of directors, but will retain his shareholding (for the moment).
Team Principal and majority shareholder Sir Frank Williams will continue to oversee the running of the Company with Wolff’s responsibilities being shared between members of the executive committee.
“I would like to thank Toto for his hard work, dedication and commitment to the team during his time as a director of the company,” said Sir Frank Williams. “He was a key support to me as executive director last season, deputising at a number of races when I was unable to attend. However, positions such as the one offered to him by Mercedes do not come around often. Toto has a long history with them and I certainly was not going to stand in the way of him accepting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Toto will retain his shareholding in Williams and will always have a place at Grove, but make no mistake; we will fight him hard on the racetrack! I am sure he will be a strong asset for Mercedes and on behalf of the whole team I would like to wish him the best of luck in his new role. I’m lucky to have a very professional group of people around me and the company’s executive committee will continue the work they have been doing to ensure a successful future for the business.”
The team’s executive board members are Sir Frank Williams, CEO Alex Burns, Mark Biddle, the general counsel and company secretary, the finance director Louise Evans and head of marketing and communications Claire Williams.
Daimler AG has signed a letter of intent with Wolff, according to which Wolff will acquire a significant minority interest in the Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd and will also head that company as its executive director. Furthermore, Niki Lauda, currently non-executive chairman of MGP, will also acquire a stake in the company. Together with Ross Brawn, Lauda and Wolff will complete the management of the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 racing team.
“As an entrepreneur, investor and motorsport manager, Toto Wolff has proven that this sport runs in his blood; at the same time, he is also well aware of the economic necessities of the business,” said Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz. “With Toto Wolff, we have gained for our Formula 1 team not only an experienced motorsport specialist, but also a longstanding enthusiast of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Together with him and Niki Lauda, we will further develop our motorsport activities and guide our Silver Arrows into the next era.”
Wolff will take over the complete coordination of all Mercedes-Benz motorsport activities.
“Mercedes is one of the most important participants in motorsport worldwide,” Wolff said. “I am not only a big fan, but also a longstanding friend and enthusiast of the brand. I am looking forward to the challenge and, along with preparing for a successful racing season, also want to focus on the targeted promotion of new talent. I am leaving Williams on good terms and I will miss the team and friends I have made there. I’d also like to wish Frank and the whole of Williams the best of luck for the future.”