The Queensland Rugby Union has announced the immediate departure of chief executive officer Jim Carmichael.
Carmichael revealed two months ago he would be stepping down from the role at the end of the season, but the QRU said on Friday he had parted ways with the organisation to pursue other professional opportunities.
“Jim and I have been speaking since March and there have been a number of things he and I wanted him to finalise before his departure,” chairman Damien Frawley said.
“When Jim arrived at Ballymore from Melbourne in 2009 there was huge uncertainty around the game and this organisation.
“His prior business experience outside rugby allowed him to come to us with a fresh perspective.
“I’d like to thank Jim for his significant contribution. We wish him and his family well for the future. It is an all-consuming role.”
Carmichael had been CEO for seven years and will be replaced in the interim by QRU executives Daniel Herbert and Dave Hanham, with the process to install a full-time successor in its final stages.
But Carmichael’s abrupt exit means the “transfer of knowledge and transition period” with the incoming CEO he had spoken about upon announcing his intention to leave the QRU in March will now no longer take place.
Together with the sacking of former coach Richard Graham and the retirement of ex-chairman Rod McCall earlier in the year, it represents a major changing of the guard at Ballymore at a time when the Queensland Reds are deep in a Super Rugby rebuilding phase.