Mike Fitzpatrick has resigned after a 10-year stint as AFL chairman and will be replaced by fellow commissioner Richard Goyder.
Goyder, who will retire as Wesfarmers chief executive later this year, will step into the AFL's top job on April 4.
Fitzpatrick - a Rhodes scholar and three-time Carlton premiership ruckman has confirmed the departure in front of a packed media scrum on Wednesday.
MAJOR ISSUES DURING MIKE FITZPATRICK'S TIME IN CHARGE OF THE AFL
2007 - West Coast's substance abuse dominates the AFL agenda following their flag win. Ben Cousins is later banned for 12 months. North Melbourne's relocation to the Gold Coast fails.
2008 - The AFL wins support from all 16 clubs to set up two new expansion teams on the Gold Coast and in Western Sydney.
2009 - Melbourne's quest for a priority pick leads to long-running 'taking' investigation. The AFL hands down a $500,000 fine in 2013.
2010 - The drawn Grand Final brings calls for the AFL to introduce extra time in the decider. The Commission adopts the measure six years later.
2011 - The AFL signs a record five-year $1.25b broadcast rights deal. Senior players are embroiled in the so-call ' St Kilda schoolgirl scandal'. The sub rule is introduced.
2012 - Greater Western Sydney enters the AFL a year after the Gold Coast Suns. The AFL introduces free agency.
2013 - An Australian Crime Commission report sparks a long-running AFL/ASADA investigation into a club-sanctioned doping regime at Essendon. New Zealand hosts the first overseas home-and-away match.
2014 - The AFL Commission introduces equalisation measures - including a soft cap on football spending - and scraps Sydney's cost of living allowance. Andrew Demetriou is replaced as chief executive by Gillon McLachlan.
2015 - The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal decides against banning the 34 past and present Essendon players. The AFL match review panel is overhauled and the sub is scrapped.
2016 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport overturns that decision, handing down 12-month bans for all players involved.
2017 - AFL Women's competition is launched to significant fanfare. Fitzpatrick resigns a day out from the start of the AFL pre-season competition.