Newcastle are the lookout for a new chief executive to take them into the future after Matt Gidley announced his intention to step down in November.
Gidley’s impending departure ends a six-year tenure as boss of the NRL club, which included overseeing the recruitment of Wayne Bennett in 2012-14.
The Knights have collected the past three wooden spoons but are widely believed to be on the way up following a heavy recruitment drive for next season.
Newcastle on Wednesday also credited Gidley’s role in helping the recent ownership takeover from The Wests Group, who are set to deliver a centre of excellence and erase the club’s debts.
Gidley said it was the right time to walk away from the club.
“There is no doubt the club has faced significant challenges in the last decade and we have navigated our way through this period, which has required enormous change to be implemented across the organisation,” Gidley said on Friday.
“The vast majority of this change is now complete and it is an appropriate time for me to take a break.”
The former Knights player thanked the club’s stakeholders for being patient in their attempt to rebuild following the most harrowing period in the team’s history.
Coach Nathan Brown is expected to lift their NRL side out of the doldrums off the back of key recruits Kalyn Ponga, Connor Watson and Aidan Guerra.
Brisbane pair Herman Ese’ese and Tautau Moga will also shift to the Hunter over the summer, joining mid-season acquisition Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
“I would like to thank the board of directors, staff, players, partners, members and supporters for your patience and loyalty while we undertook the arduous task of rebuilding the club,” Gidley said.
“I am very confident the foundations have now been established to deliver the club and the team you all fully deserve.”