Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell has resigned, making the announcement to staff and players on Wednesday.
Campbell's resignation comes just days after the sacking of head coach Ben Rutten, a decision made by the Essendon board that Campbell forms a part of.
Campbell, who has overseen a period of financial success at Windy Hill during his time in the job, has been in the role for nine years.
The chief executive's departure follows the exit of president Paul Brasher, who was ousted by incoming president David Barham just weeks ago.
Brasher, alongside Simon Madden, are set to step down from their roles on the Bombers board effective immediately.
The changes don't stop there at Tullamarine, with fellow board members Peter Allen and Sean Wellman set to depart in the coming months.
Allen will farewell The Hangar after the club's AGM in December while former prermiership defender Wellman will step aside when a new Football Director is appointed.
Barham thanked the departing board members for their contribution to the club.
“I wish to thank Paul and Simon for their significant contribution during their respective tenures on our Board,” Barham said.
“We are appreciative to both Peter and Sean for remaining on the Board as they commence the important transition of their respective portfolios.
“We will now commence the process of evaluating the make-up of the Essendon Football Club Board, which will be a key part of the external review over the coming weeks.”
In a statement released by the club on Wednesday, Campbell thanked the Bombers for his time at the club, saying his nine-year stint as CEO had been a privilege.
“Being CEO is more than a job and it has been an absolute privilege, a pleasure, and an experience I will always be proud of,” Campbell said.
“I have done everything in my power to restore the Club’s financial, structural, and cultural stability; to help pick up the pieces and put the Club back together after the heartbreak, chaos, and instability of my first four years was one of the more difficult tasks I will face in my professional career. And despite the challenges of this past week – I believe we have done that.
“With the many strong building blocks that are firmly in place at Essendon, the decision to appoint a new coach and a bold vision under new President Dave Barham, there is an opportunity to take the Club on to finals success and ultimately, a premiership. And I hope as much as anyone that we do that.
“What this needs is; a focused and well-supported President, a Board united in its intent, strategy and voice, working in lockstep with management, supported by loyal and committed members and fans who believe in the Club, the direction it’s heading and the team that can take it there. Our playing group deserves nothing less than this. Our AFLW team deserves this. Our fans and members deserve it and are ready for it."
Brasher said despite a tumultuous week at the club, there were no hard feelings as he wished the club well for the future.
“A good board will always have healthy debate and a diversity of views on issues affecting the organisation. In most cases, once everybody has had his or her say, the Board moves on united in support of the majority view,” Brasher said.
“Occasionally though, on the most fundamental issues, directors who hold minority views are best to get out of the way so that the Board can go forward totally united in implementing the decisions which have been made. That is what is happening here.
“There is absolutely no bitterness – every director on this Board wants only to see our team successful. We will work with Dave to do whatever is necessary to ensure the smoothest possible transition.
Madden's departure comes with he and the board no longer aligned with the vision for what direction to take the club in going forward.
“I have resigned from the Essendon Board as the board is moving in a direction to which I am not aligned,” Madden said.
“A club must have everyone moving in the same direction and to be fair to our new President David Barham and the rest of the board members, and in the best interests of the club, I have come to the conclusion that this is the right outcome. It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the Essendon community and I thank you for your support over my time.
Essendon are now without a chief executive and a head coach heading into the off-season, with the club currently amid a period of turmoil both on and off the field.
The Bombers finished 15th on the ladder, winning seven games throughout the 2022 season.