Sharks CEO John Smit announced on Thursday that he will be resigning at the end of 2016 season, after three years in the position.
Chairman of The Sharks Board of Directors, Stephen Saad, has thanked the 38-year-old former Springbok captain for his tireless efforts in his time at the helm of Durban franchise.
The decorated former Sharks and Saracens hooker has won more Tests (46 from 64 – winning percentage of 72%) as captain than any Springbok has played as captain.
“John is recognised as one of the most successful and respected leaders in our country, and we are grateful for his contribution in guiding The Sharks through a period of transition over the past three years,” Saad told the official Sharks website.
“I am pleased to say he will remain closely associated with the organisation, maintaining a series of key relationships.”
Smit, who made his debut for the Springboks in 2000, has gone on to make 111 appearances for his country, becoming only the second Bok to reach this milestone.
The World Cup winner in 2007 with current Montpellier head coach, Jake White, amassed over 100 Super Rugby caps for the Durban outfit.
He cited wanting to spend time and invest into his growing family as the reason for his decision to step down.
“It was an honour for me to represent The Sharks on the field, and it has been an honour for me to work for The Sharks off the field.
“I have enjoyed the last three years and greatly appreciate the continuing support of our chairman Stephen Saad, KZNRU President Graham Mackenzie, Supersport and the rest of the Board.
“This decision to resign was not an easy one and it is based primarily on me wanting to focus more of my time on my young family.
“I look forward both to the next challenge in my career and to remaining a frequent visitor to Kings Park, my home from home since I was 18 years old.”
The process leading to the appointment of a new CEO has commenced.