Nigel Wood has stepped down from his role as the Chief Executive of the RFL after ten years.
The move comes after he was removed from the Super League Europe board last year, with his departure ending a 16-year stint as a board member of the governing body.
During his tenure, Wood has been widely criticised, but he has also been revered for his efforts in developing the Magic Weekend and Grand Final concepts, along with the introduction of expansion clubs such as Catalans and Toronto.
“I am extremely honoured and privileged to have served as Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League. I am an unashamed Rugby League fan and can think of no greater honour that be asked to fulfil the role of CEO for the Rugby Football League.
“However leadership presents many tests, and the greatest of these is to recognise when it is time to step out and this is the right moment to do so. I would like to place on record my unreserved thanks to the many excellent colleagues, the clubs and all those that I have worked with throughout the last sixteen years and wish them the best of luck for the future.”
Ralph Rimmer, the COO of the RFL, will replace Wood on an interim basis while the governing body search for a new candidate to take over the role.
Wood’s future is expected to remain in the sport. He is the favourite to become the new COO of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) when David Collier leaves the post in May.
Rugby Football League chairman Brian Barwick said: “Nigel has been a superb administrator, innovator and advocate for the sport of Rugby League in this country. His range of achievements in the sport speak for themselves and he has brought a genuine love of the game to his work over many years. His time at the helm of the Rugby Football League will always be looked upon warmly and with great respect.”