Patrick Head has reacted angrily to reports he is definitely set to retire in 2011.
Earlier this year, Williams' 64-year-old co-founder released most of his shareholding for the Frankfurt floatation, admitting that retirement is on the not-too-distant horizon.
"But we are not there yet and I want to play my part in bringing Williams back to the front of the grid," he said in February.
While explaining the resignations of senior technical staff Sam Michael and Jon Tomlinson on Tuesday, team chairman Adam Parr announced to reporters that Head "will be retiring at some point this year".
Briton Head was surprised when told about Parr's comments by the Guardian newspaper.
"What you are telling me is news to me. He wasn't in a position to make that statement.
"My plans are not in the public domain and they will only be when I make my own statement
"My plans are not in the public domain and they will only be when I make my own statement later in the year," added Head.
Coughlan was caught receiving and copying reams of stolen information from Ferrari, but a spokesman for the Italian team said: "We have no comment to make about appointments made by other teams."