Southampton have appointed Gareth Rogers as their CEO on an interim basis following the departure of Nicola Cortese last week.
The club confirmed the news via their official Twitter account:
As reported by Yahoo! Eurosport, Cortese left Southampton following a disagreement with owner Katharina Liebherr about the club's direction.
Cortese had overseen the Saints' rise from League One to midtable in the Premier League. The Italian is largely responsible for the club's current success and the good health they find themselves in on and off the pitch.
Teenage defender Luke Shaw, who has been one of the club's top performers, showed the influence Cortese held:
Gutted with that news, but would just like to thank Nicola Cortese for everything he has done for me and the club! All the best to him!— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw3) January 15, 2014
Rogers is also Southampton's chief financial officer, a position he has held since March 2011. Knowing the club from the inside, he looks to be a safe pair of hands to look after the handover period.
Following the temporary appointment, Liebherr spoke of her desire to bring stability to Southampton, via the club's official site:
I am delighted that Gareth has agreed to step into this role. After the events of the past week, my priority has been to bring stability to the management of the Club and I am pleased that we have been able to make this appointment from within. We had a very positive meeting with all the staff of the Club on Monday and I am sure Gareth's appointment will be warmly received.
As reported by Alex Crook in the Daily Star, former Blackburn chairman John Williams has been linked to Southampton as Cortese's replacement, although it is unclear if Rogers' appointment has any bearing on this.
Williams, a lifelong fan of the club, is from the city and would be a wise appointment. He performed the role well while at Ewood Park, helping Blackburn establish themselves as an ambitious midtable Premier League side.
Southampton look to have secured their top-flight status for another season, but in order to maintain and build on the good work put in by Cortese in previous years, it is important to make a good appointment within the near future.