Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs is to step down over the coming weeks.
Childs joined the organisation that manages the English top flight in August 2019, presiding over a challenging period that included the four-month break to the 2019/20 season enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.
He oversaw negotiations of a new four-year deal with broadcaster BT Sport that expires in 2024 and helped secure £88million of Government support for clubs facing financial problem because of Covid-19.
However, Premiership Rugby has come under fire from British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland over player release and it has also been criticised for a lack of transparency.
“After a huge effort by the whole team, I’m pleased that we have managed to navigate the many challenges of Covid-19 and that Premiership Rugby is able to look ahead with real optimism,” Childs said.
“While now is the right time for me to step back and focus on a wider range of business interests, I will remain a committed and enthusiastic supporter of club rugby as the sport completes its recovery and returns to growth in the years ahead.”
Childs is to act as an advisor to CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm that owns a 27 per cent share in the Premiership.