MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - German champions Bayern Munich announced a changing of the guard on Friday with former captain Oliver Kahn returning as a board member next year and as CEO in 2022 while longtime president Uli Hoeness confirmed his departure.
Hoeness announced his retirement after almost half a century at the club as a player, general director and president on the same day the Bavarians appointed another successful former player to succeed current CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Kahn, nicknamed ‘the Titan’ who won eight league titles between 1994 and 2008 with the Bavarians, signed a five-year contract after the board voted unanimously in favour of the move in Thursday’s meeting.
“It is a great honour to initially become a member of the board and then take over the chairman role at Bayern Munich,” the 50-year-old Kahn, a former Germany goalkeeper and captain, said in a statement.
“I am deeply linked with the club that has marked my life considerably.”
When Rummenigge’s contract expires on Dec. 31, 2021, Kahn will take over from him as chairman and CEO.
Hoeness, a 1974 World Cup winner who became the club’s general manager in 1979 and then its president in 2009, said it was a difficult decision not to run for another term.
“It was not a decision that was taken quickly,” Hoeness told a news conference. “My family and my wife reminded me that she would like to have more time with me.”
“I always wanted to leave with the club in a superb state. The figures last season (with a turnover of over 650 million euros ($724 million) in 2017/18) were the best in the history of Bayern.”
“I also wanted that it is also well positioned on a personnel level.”
Hoeness, whose reputation was severely tarnished when he was convicted and imprisoned for tax evasion in 2014, has proposed former Adidas chief Herbert Hainer as his successor at the helm Germany’s biggest and most successful club.
He also said that Kahn was “the perfect solution looking into the future for the position of chairman.”
The former Germany keeper, who also won the Champions League with Bayern in 2001, had long been seen as a likely replacement for Rummenigge as the club look to install a new generation of senior officials.
Kahn was also a 2002 World Cup finalist with Germany, losing to Brazil. An entrepreneur and popular advertising figure, Kahn most recently worked as a television commentator.
Rummenigge had joined Bayern as a player in 1974, enjoying a hugely successful decade, and became the club’s vice-president from 1991 to 2002 before taking over his current role.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann and Hardik Vyas; editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Toby Davis