Manchester United plc announced that Richard Arnold “has decided to step down” as chief executive officer of the company after 16 years with the club.
The moves comes ahead of the club’s reported stake sale to British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
“Patrick Stewart will take over as interim CEO, in addition to his existing role as general counsel, with Richard continuing to provide transitional support until the end of December,” said Manchester United PLC.
“A search process will be carried out for a new permanent CEO.”
Manchester United plc executive co-chairman Joel Glazer said: “I would like to thank Richard for his outstanding service to Manchester United over the past 16 years, and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.
“We are fortunate to be able to call on the deep knowledge and experience of Patrick Stewart to provide interim stability and continuity as we embark on a search for a new permanent CEO.”
Arnold said: “It has been an incredible privilege to serve this great football club for the past 16 years.
“Through highs and lows, the constant has been the dedication of our employees and fans.
“I would like to thank all of them for their loyalty and commitment and wish everyone associated with the club the very best for the future.”
Stewart said: “Together with my leadership team colleagues, my job will be to ensure that the club’s foundations remain stable while we embrace changes that can make us stronger over the long term, both on and off the pitch, and to support the search for a new permanent CEO.”