New Zealand Football (NZF) chief executive Michael Glading is to quit his post after guiding the sport through arguably its best-ever couple of years in this country.
Glading leaves NZF in March next year and in 30 months at the helm, he has helped set new standards on the field while righting the ship financially.
The former record company chief executive said today he will now look for a fresh challenge.
"I have decided that the time is right for me to look for something new.
"The board has asked me to continue working through until March 2011, and I am delighted to help," Glading said.
"However, I have decided that it's time for me to move on."
He believes soccer in New Zealand is in its best shape for a long time.
"Certainly we have achieved most of the goals that were set when I initially arrived.
"New Zealand Football was $1.5 million in the red when I took over. But it's now time for new leadership to continue the march forward."
NZF chairman Frank van Hattum said Glading's contribution to soccer in New Zealand had been significant.
"Michael was brought in to achieve critical business objectives set by the board. He has realised those objectives and leaves the organisation in very good shape."
During Glading's tenure NZF achieved its first fiscal surplus in four years and repaid $1.5m in bank debt a year ahead of schedule.
Glading's team also managed the planning and initial implementation of the Whole of Football plan that has seen all seven member federations align to one development plan delivering soccer to the grassroots.
"Highlights of my role include two of the World Cup campaigns that New Zealand Football has been involved with during my time here.
"I thoroughly enjoyed both the 2008 under-17 women's World Cup held in New Zealand, and of course playing a part in the 2010 World Cup campaign where the All Whites left with their heads held high after being the only undefeated team.
"You know you've done a good job when the kids are running around in All Whites replica shirts and not Manchester United ones.
"It's been an enjoyable two-and-a-half years, but I am already looking forward to some new challenges ahead."