Arsenal has confirmed the impending departure of CEO Vinai Venkatesham, who has been with the club for close to 14 years.
Venkatesham will leave the club at the end of the current season. Moreover, he plans to help the Premier League club ensure a “seamless transition” to his successor. Co-chair Josh Kroenke is among those to pay tribute following the announcement.
“This was a tough decision, but it is time to pursue another challenge,” Venkatesham said in a statement confirming his departure in the summer. “Now is not the time for goodbyes as I remain focused until my last day and supporting a seamless transition .”
“The Board is fully supportive of Vinai’s desire to pursue his next challenge,” Josh Kroenke’s statement reads. “Whilst it is business as usual with everyone focused on the season ahead, we’d like to take this moment to thank him for his contribution and long service. Vinai will always be part of the Arsenal family and always welcome back at Emirates Stadium.
“Change and succession is something the club is well prepared for. The Board remains committed to our strategy and will address leadership change as we continue to drive the club forward.”
Venkatesham has held a number of roles with Arsernal since joining the club when Arsene Wenger was still manager of the first-team. He took over as managing director after Ivan Gazidis left the club, and his time in North London will pass the 14-year mark by the time he formally leaves.
Venkatesham took over as CEO in 2020, the same year that Mikel Arteta’s job title changed from head coach to manager. It was the chief executive who explained the decision to change Arteta’s title, praising the manager for the work done in the first nine months of that year.
“Mikel’s been here since the end of December and the last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months in Arsenal’s history – and we’ve been around for 134 years,” he said. “Despite all of those challenges, Mikel has been driving this football club forward,”
The exit announcement comes after Arsenal have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season, building on their runner-up finish in the Premier League last term. Arteta’s team have three victories and one draw from their opening four fixtures, including a dramatic late victory over Manchester United .
Arsenal will return from the international break this weekend with a league trip to Everton , who beat them at Goodison Park last season. After that, they will mark their return to Champions League football with a home game against PSV Eindhoven.