More change for the Blues

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Redman had six years in the role and marked his departure by saying the Blues needed a different hand at the helm for the challenges ahead.

"I believe it is now important the Blues get the opportunity to appoint someone to lead the club for the next five-plus years, and that is not me," he said.

He will end his connection with the organisation in September.

Redman said he came into the role in 2013 with five seasons as his plan but extended his time by a year because he believed stable leadership for staff and sponsors was needed during 12 months of significant shareholder, governance and coaching changes.

Not changing the Blues results on the field had been frustrating but he believed he had helped assemble a coaching group as good as any in Super Rugby with world-class support staff.

"Now we have just signed one of the best players in the world. We have fantastic staff and I know success is just around the corner," he said.

The Blues organisation had also moved from being a part-time operation with the Auckland union to being a fully professional group with 19 full-time staff and with world-class facilities at Alexandra Park.

Blues board chairman Don Mackinnon said: "Despite facing numerous challenges, Michael has managed to grow our commercial revenue and oversee our move to a stunning facility that will set the club up for decades to come.

"He has developed a strong team, worked incredibly hard and has led with integrity and intelligence. We thank him for all he has done," he said.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said, "Michael can be very satisfied with what he has achieved at the Blues having steered the organisation through some challenging periods as it matured into an independent Super Rugby club.

"He has made significant contributions to rugby from his work on collective employment agreements, to innovations in commercial and player contracting, and establishing a world-class base at Epsom.

"That base, which sees the commercial and administration team working alongside the high-performance group, coaches and team, has helped to underline a strong Blues culture and identity," he said.

Mackinnon said the Blues organisation would start the process to appoint a new chief executive immediately.