Williams Grand Prix Holdings has made the shock announcement that Adam Parr, the man widely expected to lead the company - and its F1 team - into the future, has resigned.
It appears that Parr, who will officially leave the company on Friday [30 March], has decided that the nomadic F1 life does not fit with his commitment to his family, and has reluctantly stepped down from the role of chairman to which he was appointed at the end of 2006.
"I asked Adam to join Williams to support me in the running of our team," founder and principal Sir Frank Williams explained, "Over five years, his 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."
Parr also believes that the moves made over the past few months has left the team on a stronger footing, as underlined by how close it came to a double points score in Malaysia on Sunday, with Pastor Maldonado only denied the chance to join Bruno Senna in the top ten by a late engine failure.
"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," Parr commented, "Williams is a unique team with over 500 great-hearted and talented people and many superb partners in and out of F1. Williams is now set up to move forward and I wish everyone at Grove well."
Nick Rose, ex-CFO of Diageo PLC and currently a non-executive director of Williams Grand Prix Holdings and two FTSE100 companies, has been appointed non-executive chairman. Majority and controlling shareholder Frank Williams will continue to oversee the company with the support of shareholder and non-executive director Toto Wolff, chief executive officer Alex Burns and the rest of the board.
"I would like to thank the board for nominating me as non-executive chairman of Williams," he said, "When I joined the company, my single purpose was to help restore the team to its former glory. Frank and the board believe that I can best do this as Chairman and I gladly accept this responsibility. A lot of good work has been done to get us to this point but we must continue to work hard if we are to achieve our objectives."
Williams currently lies seventh in the constructors' standings, with Senna in a share of eighth in the drivers' table. The luckless Maldonado - who also retired on the penultimate lap of the Australian season-opener, has yet to open his account.