MARCH 24, 2002
Ferrari aims to solve the problem of poaching
POACHING of key technical staff has been a major problem for all the major Formula 1 teams in recent years and there seems to be little they can do to stop this happening as rich middle-ranking teams seem to be willing to outspend the majors to get the right staff. Williams made the vital decision to give technical director Patrick Head a share of the company a long time ago and that has paid off for both the team and for Head himself. While other engineers such as John Barnard have bounced around to whichever team is offering the most money, Head has been the foundation on which Williams success has been based. Before his death Harvey Postlethwaite enjoyed a similar situation with the Tyrrell team, being given 10% of the company to keep him from moving elsewhere.
One of the less obvious aims of the planned Ferrari flotation is to provide the Italian team with the opportunity to offer shares (or share options) to key personnel. This is common practice in industry these days and helps to keep executives loyal to a company.