Carlton have received a much-needed boost in a tumultuous off-season, with Brian Cook to take over as chief executive.
While it had been known for months that Cook was leaving his role as Geelong’s CEO after 23 years, until Friday night it was unclear what he would do next.
The Cats confirmed on Friday night that Cook would take on the role with the Blues.
Cain Liddle left the job a week ago after four years.
Cook is one of the league’s most respected and experienced club chief executives.
Along with president Frank Costa, he was crucial in turning around the Cats’ financial crisis 20 years ago, and then oversaw their three premierships in 2007, ’09, and ’11.
Before joining Geelong, he was CEO at West Coast when the Eagles won the ’92 and ’94 flags.
“Brian is the longest-serving CEO in the history of the game, and he loves a challenge,” Cats president Craig Drummond said in a statement.
“He is excited about taking the reigns at Carlton and we wish him well in that role.
“The club is vastly different to the one he walked into all those years ago, and we can never properly thank him for all he has done during his tenure.”
Liddle’s exit from Carlton came three weeks after the Blues sacked coach David Teague.
While four-time Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair Clarkson has ruled himself out of going to a new club, Cook’s move to Carlton will reignite that speculation.
Clarkson has said he will take next year off after leaving the Hawks.
AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking, also a former Geelong player and official, has been confirmed as the new Cats chief executive.
He is due to start in the next few weeks.