Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has resigned to join AC Milan, the Premier League club have announced. After almost 10 years in his current role, the executive will leave the north London side to take up a similar position in Italy. The 54-year-old will step down at the end of October, following a decade at Emirates Stadium, and take up the same role at Milan, who were recently taken over by American company Elliott Management, on December 1. Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham will head up football operations at Arsenal, taking up the head of football and managing director roles respectively.
Sanllehi, a former director of football at Barcelona, joined the Gunners as head of football relations in February, while Venkatesham is currently the club’s chief commercial officer. Gazidis headed up the interview process that led to Unai Emery’s appointment as head coach, succeeding long-serving manager Arsene Wenger. His overhaul of Arsenal’s structure, including the appointments of Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, arguably helped to herald the end of the Wenger era as a degree of power was wrestled away from the veteran Frenchman, and Gazidis has described his pending departure as “the hardest decision of my life”.
“For the last 10 years I have been privileged to dedicate myself to this great club. Arsenal is entering a new chapter and I have done everything I can to ensure that it is strongly placed to take on that challenge,” he said in a statement on Arsenal’s official website. “This includes world-class facilities and outstanding leaders in every sector who carry the values of the club, including, of course, Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham, in whom I have enormous faith.