Ivan Gazidis has left his role as Arsenal chief executive to join Italian club AC Milan.
The 53-year-old, who helped appoint Unai Emery in May as Arsene Wenger’s successor as manager, will leave his role on 31 October.
Gazidis said that the decision to leave after 10 years at the Gunners was “the hardest of my life”.
“Change and succession is not only inevitable for a club like Arsenal – it is necessary,” he said.
Raul Sanllehi, who was head of football relations at Arsenal has been appointed head of football, and Vinai Venkatesham moves from chief commercial officer to managing director.
In hiring Gazidis as CEO, AC Milan brings on board a world-class football executive with a track record of sporting and commercial success across the globe.
“After playing a key role in founding Major League Soccer in the United States, in 2009 Mr. Gazidis went on to become Chief Executive Officer of the UK Premier League football club Arsenal,” AC Milan said on its Facebook page.
AC Milan’s executive chairman Paolo Scaroni will hand over all chief executive duties to Mr. Gazidis on 1 December. “On that date, Mr. Gazidis will formally become AC Milan’s CEO, responsible for leading the club’s day-to-day football, business and commercial operations.”
Paolo Scaroni, executive chairman of AC Milan said, “On behalf of the Board and the entire AC Milan community, we proudly welcome Ivan Gazidis to the club.
“The CEO role is one we have prioritised from day one of this project and one we have worked diligently upon to get right. Ivan Gazidis will bring an unparalleled level of business acumen and football industry experience to the club.
“He helped establish professional football in the United States; he brought Arsenal to new heights; and we can’t wait for him to get started here in Milan.
“The fundamentals are now in place for success, which we recognize will take time, hard work, and perseverance.”