Mark Bullingham will be the next chief executive of the Football Association, the governing body has announced.
An internal candidate, Bullingham joined the FA as commercial and marketing director in August 2016, with his role bumped up to chief commercial and football development officer in December.
The marketing expert replaces Martin Glenn, who announced before Christmas that he intended to stand down, after nearly four years in the job, at end of this season.
In a statement, Bullingham said: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be at the Football Association and I’m delighted to be given this opportunity.
“I’m hugely passionate about the role the FA plays in improving the English game and our positive contribution to society. Getting kids across the country active and learning life skills such as teamwork and communication is incredibly rewarding.
“I’m confident in the talent and determination of the workforce here and the direction we are heading together.
“However, there is still a huge amount to do: from transforming the quality of amateur pitches, to doubling the women’s and girls’ game across the country, to hosting major international tournaments, to building digital tools to help volunteers across all areas of the grassroots game. The to-do list is long but we know that as a team, we can deliver huge progress.
“I would also like to thank Martin Glenn for his support over the last two and a half years. Martin has played a principal role in making the FA a more modern, innovative and inclusive organisation. He has created a strong leadership team that is making a real difference at every level of English football.”
Since joining the FA, he has played a key role in signing new hospitality, licensing and sponsorship deals which have enabled the FA to grow its annual turnover by 25 per cent.
An FA level one-qualified coach who has managed boys and girls teams over the last four years, he has also contributed to England’s successful bid for the 2021 Women’s European Championship, helped triple Wembley’s concert revenue and restructured the participation and development programme.
Football Paradise understands he beat former Yorkshire Building Society boss Chris Pilling to the job after the pair made a final shortlist, but his start date in the new role is yet to be confirmed.
FA chairman Greg Clarke said: “Following a full and thorough recruitment process, it gives me huge pleasure and great confidence that the best candidate has come from within the organisation.
“Mark has played a key role in the recent success of the FA and under his leadership the organisation will continue to break new ground. I know Mark and his qualities well. He is undoubtedly the best person to lead the FA as we head into an exciting new era.”
And that era could include a new name, as the FA board announced on Thursday it was considering changing the name of the national governing body to the English FA after 155 years of being just the FA.