Williams, who is leaving office this year to return to academic life, told The Daily Telegraph that heading the loose grouping of 77 million Anglicans around the world has become too big a responsibility for one person.
He admitted mistakes in his handling of the split over ordaining homosexual priests and consecrating homosexual bishops, but he suggested part of the problem is the demands put on someone who is both head of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.
"I suspect it will be necessary, in the next 10 to 15 years, to think about how that load is spread; to think whether in addition to the Archbishop of Canterbury there needs to be some more presidential figure who can travel more readily," he said.
Many national churches are also split over the role of homosexuals. The place of women in the church is also a contentious issue.
"I know that I've, at various points, disappointed both conservatives and liberals," Williams said. "Most of them are quite willing to say so, quite loudly. That's just been a background to almost everything, a pretty steady 'mood music.'"
Senate Democrats to pull all-nighter on climate change
Susan Sarandon 'very excited' about daughter's pregnancy