According to UK corporate law, the Board of Directors is responsible for managing the business and has both supervisory and executive functions, including formulating, reviewing and approving the Company’s strategy, budgets and corporate actions.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Mike O'Driscoll, Group Chief Executive Officer
Mike O'Driscoll started his career in the UK with Jaguar Rover Triumph as a business student. He obtained an MBA from the University of Warwick, and held various positions in Finance, Product Development and Marketing, prior to his move to the U.S.A. with Jaguar Cars in 1987, as a marketing and sales executive. Starting in 1995, Mike held a number of senior management positions with Jaguar’s parent, Ford Motor Company, prior to his appointment as President of Jaguar Cars North America in 2000. The following year he became President of Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover's North American subsidiary. In 2007 he was appointed Managing Director of Jaguar Cars global operations, until he retired in March 2011. Mike was appointed to the Board in September 2011 as a Non-Executive Director and to his current role as Group Chief Executive Officer in May 2013.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal
After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in Politics, Claire Williams joined Silverstone Circuit as a press officer. Claire joined Williams in 2002 and was promoted to Head of Communications in 2010, responsible for all internal and external communications. This role was extended to include Head of Investor Relations following the Company’s admission to the Open Market (Entry Standard Segment) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in March 2011. Claire was appointed to the Board as Commercial Director in April 2012 and extended her role to Deputy Team Principal in March 2013. In June 2016, it was announced that Claire was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in recognition of her services to Formula One.
Mark Biddle, General Counsel and Company Secretary
After graduating from Cambridge University with a Masters in Law, Mark Biddle spent seven years working at Slaughter and May in London and then in Hong Kong, before taking a legal advisory role with Deutsche Bank. Eight years later in 2004 Mark became General Counsel of RAC PLC, remaining in this role for a year, until Aviva completed a successful takeover of the RAC. Following a nine-month contract as Senior Corporate Lawyer with Aviva, Mark spent several years as General Counsel to marketing company, Aegis Group PLC. Mark then took on the role of General Counsel for the Williams Group at the start of 2009. In addition to his directorship of the Company, Mark is Company Secretary of the Company and of each of the other Williams Group companies.
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer
Paddy was born in Nairobi, Kenya to Irish parents and grew up in East Africa and the UK. As a child the East African Safari Rally used to go past his house, generating his first interest in motorsport. After graduating from the University of Cambridge in 1984 with a degree in Engineering, followed by a year sailing across the Atlantic, Paddy started work for the company which had sponsored him through university: the Metal Box Company based in Grove just around the corner from where Williams are located today. In 1987 he joined Williams as a Control Systems Engineer, based at that time in Didcot. He spent six years with Williams, during which time he oversaw the development of the active suspension used on the iconic FW14B and the FW15C, which led Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost to their World Championship successes in 1992 and 1993. After several years away Paddy returned to Williams in 2017 as Chief Technical Officer and was appointed to the board in March 2017.
Doug Lafferty, Chief Financial Officer
Doug graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London with a BSc in Management Studies prior to starting his career as a Graduate Trainee at British American Tobacco (BAT) in 2001. He qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 2003 before holding a variety of Finance Director and General Management positions whilst on international assignments with BAT to Greece, Romania, Serbia and Canada. After returning to the UK in 2013 Doug became the first Finance Director of BATs Next Generation Products business and in 2015 became Group Head of Commercial Finance, working closely with the group’s Marketing & Operations leadership teams.
Doug’s final role at BAT was as Regional Head of Finance for the Americas before being appointed to the Board of Williams, in the capacity of CFO, in September 2017.
NON-EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Nick Rose, Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Nick Rose was educated at Oxford University, from where he has a Masters in Chemistry. He started his career with Ford Motor Company. In 1992, Nick joined Grand Metropolitan PLC as Group Treasurer before promotion to Group Controller and Chief Finance Officer of the drinks division. Nick played a key part in the merger with Guinness to create Diageo PLC and the company’s subsequent manoeuvre into a focussed drinks business. In 1999, Nick was appointed CFO of Diageo. Nick retired from Diageo at the end of December 2010. Nick today serves on the Board of BAE Systems PLC and BT Group PLC, where he is Senior Independent Director at both companies and chairs the respective Audit Committees, and is non-executive Chairman of Galore SPV1 Limited, a company that owns the Loch Lomond Scotch whisky business. Nick is also Founding Patron of SITraN (Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience), involved in raising funds to build a leading research institute to find a cure for Motor Neurone disease. Nick was appointed to the Board in November 2011 and is Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee and Chairman of the Renumeration and Nomination Committee.
Brad Hollinger, Non-Executive Director
Brad Hollinger was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC in April 2016, and has been a shareholder in the company since 2014. Brad is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vibra Healthcare, an American specialty acute care hospital company based in Pennsylvania with over 10,000 employees, 92 hospitals and transitional care centres within the United States, and annual revenues of over $1billion. In this role Brad is responsible for the strategic direction, operational execution and profitability of Vibra Healthcare. Prior to founding Vibra Healthcare, he co-founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Balanced Care Corporation, a publicly traded senior care company that grew to 87 facilities in 11 US states. In addition, Brad served as chief development officer and executive vice president of the contract services group of Continental Medical Systems, a NYSE $1.5 billion dollar company.
The Company has established an Audit Committee and a Remuneration and Nomination Committee, with formally delegated duties and responsibilities. Terms of reference for each Committee are attached below.
REMUNERATION AND NOMINATION COMMITTEE
The Board of Directors is of the opinion that the size and nature of the Group does not justify setting up two distinct committees to deal with remuneration- and nomination-related matters and accordingly has established a combined Remuneration and Nomination Committee. The members of this Committee comprise of the Company's two non-executive directors.
The members of the Audit Committee comprise of the Company's two non-executive directors. With Nick Rose as one of those members, the Company satisfies the requirement of the UK Corporate Governance Code that at least one of the committee members should have recent and relevant financial experience.