After 30 years in charge of Bayern Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will step down as chairman at the end of the month and be replaced by former Germany captain Oliver Kahn, the Bundesliga giants confirmed Tuesday.
Rummenigge had been due to see out his contract which expires at the end of 2021, but is leaving six months early to meet the end of the financial year on June 30.
Rummenigge’s departure represents the start of a new era at Bayern with Julian Nagelsmann, 33, also replacing Hansi Flick as head coach going into next season.
“It is strategically the most sensible and logical point in time,” said Rummenigge, 65, with Kahn, 51, to be Bayern’s chairman when the new season starts in August.
“We are reaching the end of the financial year, and at the same time a new phase with a new coaching team is beginning.
“It is a farewell with satisfaction and pride. That was important to me,” he added.
Rummenigge joined the club’s management in 1991 as vice-president and then became chairman in 2002, overseeing an incredible period of success.
With Rummenigge on board, Bayern won the Bundesliga 19 times and lifted the Champions League trophy in 2001, 2013 and 2020.
Bayern president Herbert Hainer praised Rummenigge for his work alongside former club supremo Uli Hoeness which “shaped FC Bayern into one of the top names international football – both in sporting and economic terms.”
Since Rummenigge became chairman, Bayern Munich’s annual turnover has increased from 176 ($215 million) to 679 million euros, according to club figures.
A former striker who made 95 appearances for West Germany, Rummenigge played for Bayern from 1974 to 1984.
He was part of the team which won the European Cup twice and was voted the Ballon d’Or winner in both 1980 and 1981.
However, Kahn has a pedigree to match having won the Bundesliga title eight times in 14 years at Bayern before retiring in 2008.
He earned the nickname ‘Vol-Kahn-o’ with his fiery temper and fierce determination to win.
The former goalkeeper played 86 times for Germany, captaining them to defeat against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup final, and made 632 appearances for Bayern.
“As chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has done great work for Bayern for over 20 years,” said Kahn, who had been tipped as their next chairman since joining the club’s board in January 2020.
“During this time, the club has won everything there was to win – you can’t rate his services to Bayern highly enough.
“The time has now come for me to take on responsibility at the top of Bayern Munich.
“In the past 18 months, I have got to know all facets of the club.
“I know what challenges we are facing. I am aware of the task and I am very much looking forward to it.”