Vinai Venkatesham has confirmed that he has been appointed Arsenal’s CEO by the club’s owners and will now oversee the club’s business both on and off the pitch.
The 39-year-old previously held the title Managing Director, a role that worked in tandem with the Head of Football, which until recently was held by Raul Sanllehi.
When the Spaniard departed last month, Vinai was given sole responsibility for the day-to-day running of the club, so it makes sense that his title should reflect that.
Venkatesham joined the Gunners just over a decade ago and has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks.
Joining as Head of Global Partnerships, he’s been promoted to Director of Global Partnerships and Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing Director and was Chief Commercial Officer just before Ivan Gazidis, our last CEO, departed for Milan in 2018.
In an interview with Arsenal Digital, Vinai explained: “Going forward, I am going to be responsible for overseeing the club both on and off the pitch as chief executive officer.
“That’s how things are going to work going forward. Of course, I’ll be working really, really closely with the board and really, really closely with the owners in that position.
“On the football side, Per Mertesacker heads up the Academy and then Edu and Mikel will work together to head up the first team operation.
“I’m really fortunate to have such a fantastic team. You think about Edu, you think about Mikel and Per; those are three individuals that are winners, they are driven to succeed and they have Arsenal in their heart. We have two club captains and an Invincible.”
Vinai went on to confirm that Mikel Arteta’s impressive start to life at the Emirates means he’s earned the title of first team manager; an upgrade from his initial position as head coach.
Best of luck to Vinai, Edu, Mikel, Per and the rest. We’ve had a lot of upheaval in recent years. It would be lovely for everything to settle down and for the club to build on last season’s FA Cup victory.