Walt Jocketty will remain as president of baseball operations and spoke about Williams' move up from VP and assistant GM.
"As is the case with any business, it's critical to have a succession plan in place," Jocketty said, per the team's official Twitter account, adding, "Dick has been here for 10 years, he's learned the business, and we are confident he is ready to take on the GM responsibilities."
Williams also spoke about the opportunity, saying, "I am very grateful for and humbled by this opportunity. I believe my promotion is a reflection on the entire team that works behind the scenes. Walt has been a great resource to me and I look forward to our continued collaboration," per the Reds' PR Twitter feed.
RedsMinorLeagues.com's Doug Gray highlighted how Cincinnati fans should expect Williams to go about building the team as he becomes more integral to personnel decisions:
The Reds weren't quite able to get over the hump with veteran manager Dusty Baker in the dugout and fired him after 2013 as a result. Baker is known for not reading too much into analytics, so Cincinnati's shift toward a more modernized MLB paradigm is evident once again in Williams' promotion.
After not making the playoffs under skipper Bryan Price in 2014, this year was a big step back for the Reds en route to a 64-98 record. Price is returning for the 2016 campaign but needs to produce results or risks being fired.
The problem is Cincinnati has a massive rebuilding project on its hands and plays in an extremely tough National League Central division. Executives who lean more on analytics and sabermetrics tend to seek out cost-effective, valuable players, as opposed to escalating the payroll.
That means the Reds could be in for acquiring a lot of young talent and hoping it meshes with the current core of Joey Votto, Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips. It may, too, require patience from the fanbase and at least another down year before Cincinnati can turn it around in the NL Central.