It hasn’t been more than 24 hours since the internet was abuzz with rumours of Toto Wolff moving to Mercedes-Benz to take up the responsibilities of Nobert Haug who left Mercedes-Benz last year. Now both companies have made official announcements. Toto Wolff will be relinquishing his seat on the Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC Company’s Board of Directors but will retain his shareholding. He comes on board as a new shareholder and Executive Director of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. Fellow Austrian Niki Lauda, Chairman of Mercedes-Benz Grand-Prix Ltd. is also a new shareholder.
“Mercedes is one of the most important participants in motorsport worldwide. 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.” said Wolff.
Toto Wolff has seen a couple of victories in various touring car championships. His position at Mercedes-Benz comes courtesy of his success as an entrepreneur, investor and motorsport manager. Toto Wolff owns a 49% stake in HWA AG, the company that runs Mercedes-Benz’s DTM programme. His acquisition of shares from Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC was in November 2009. In July 2012, Toto Wolff became a member of that team’s management, filling in for Sir Frank Williams himself on numerous occasions
Speaking about Toto Wolff’s departure Sir Frank Williams commented; ‘’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. 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.”
“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”, Wolff added.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas team has a lot going in its favour this season with Hamilton on board. 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. 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,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.
Team Principal and majority shareholder Sir Frank Williams will continue to oversee the running of the Company with Toto’s responsibilities being shared between members of the Board’s Executive Committee.