Chelsea CEO Laurence to step down after Todd Boehly's £4.25bn takeover

Kai Havertz Chelsea 2022Getty Images

Guy Laurence, Chelsea's CEO, will step down from the club shortly after Todd Boehly's £4.25 ($5.4bn) billion takeover is completed. 

The executive in charge of running day-to-day operations in west London had already decided to leave the club before the ownership change began but stayed on to ensure a smooth transition period.

It is unclear who will step into the role with an executive search set to begin now under the Boehly-led private equity-backed group. 

What did Laurence do at Chelsea?

After working as the CEO of Vodafone UK and the president and CEO of Rogers Communications, Laurence joined Chelsea in February 2018 intending to improve the size and number of commercial sponsorships at Stamford Bridge. 

His role was entirely focused on the business arm of Chelsea and he took a place on the board, leaving the football operation to be run by director Marina Granovskaia. 

Before that, the Blues didn't have a chief executive since the influential Ron Gourlay in 2014. Gourlay remains in the sport at Championship side West Brom. 

Laurence's departure is not thought to owe to any internal politics between the ownership regimes and, unlike other board members, isn't closely associated with Roman Abramovich. 

Furthermore, Boehly has committed to keeping other board members like chairman Bruce Buck and Granovskaia at the club for the foreseeable future. 

What are Boehly's plans for Chelsea off the field?

He will keep much of the administrative staff in place initially but has big plans to push revenues which he believes are undervalued in English football. 

Chelsea continue to lag behind rivals like Manchester United in terms of generating cash and sponsorships which will become a new focus of Boehly's regime. 

There will also be a data-driven approach to the football operation to improve the success rate in recruiting players and in renewing contracts.

Boehly and his partners, including Clearlake Capital duo Behdad Eghbali and Jose E. Feliciano, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter will influence the new direction of the club. 

There will also be non-executive board roles for prominent Blues supporters Danny Finkelstein and Barbara Charone, who have expertise in politics, data and public relations. 

They also have big plans to develop the stadium and have sounded out the architects from Abramovich's abandoned rebuild about restarting a new project.

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