Bayern CEO Rummenigge retiring early, Kahn taking over

Karlheinz Rummenigge became vice-president of Bayern Munich in 1991, and chairman in 2002. (Matthias Schrader/AP)

MUNICH — Bayern Munich chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is retiring from the club six months earlier than expected, and will be replaced by former goalkeeping great Oliver Kahn.

Rummenigge made the request to step down from his position on June 30, and not Dec. 31 as originally planned, Bayern said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is the most strategically sensible and logical time,'' the 65-year-old Rummenigge said. "We're coming to the end of the financial year, and at the same time a new phase is beginning with a new coaching team. The new season should be the responsibility of Oliver Kahn as the new CEO right from the start.''

Bayern will start the new season with former Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann in charge of the team. Nagelsmann is taking over from Hansi Flick, who left after leading Bayern to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and will take over the Germany team after the European Championship.

Rummenigge will continue to have a say in European soccer for the next three years. He retains his seat on UEFA's executive committee which he took in April when he replaced Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, who stepped down amid the turmoil of the Super League plan.

Rummenigge, a former striker who scored 162 goals in 310 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern, became vice-president of the club in 1991. Since becoming CEO in 2002, Rummenigge has helped the Bavarian club increase turnover from 176 million euros ($215 million) to 679 million euros ($830 million). The public limited company behind Bayern posted a profit in every financial year during the period, helping build reserves rarely seen in debt-ridden European soccer.

"Together with (former club president) Uli Hoeneß, he shaped FC Bayern into one of the best clubs in elite international football — both in sporting and economic terms,'' Bayern president and supervisory board chairman Herbert Hainer said.

Bayern won the Champions League twice (in 2013 and 2020) as well as 14 Bundesliga and 10 German Cup titles while Rummenigge was chief executive.

The 51-year-old Kahn is being entrusted with ensuring the successes continue. He joined Bayern's supervisory board in 2019 with a view to becoming CEO in 2022 but will now take over on July 1.

"In the past 18 months, I have become acquainted with all facets of the club and know very well how FC Bayern works and what challenges lie ahead,'' Kahn said.

Kahn joined Bayern from Karlsruher SC in 1994 and went on to win eight Bundesliga titles, six German Cups, and the Champions League in 2001. He made 86 appearances for Germany, winning the European Championship in 1996 and finishing World Cup runner-up in 2002.

Kahn was named World's Best Goalkeeper three times, European Goalkeeper of the Year four times and German Footballer of the Year twice.

"We are all convinced that Oliver Kahn is the right man to successfully shape the future,'' Hainer said.

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