KYRIL LOUIS-DREYFUS' overhaul of Sunderland's executive structure has begun with the departure of chief executive Jim Rodwell.

Rodwell has stepped down from his position as CEO less than 24 hours after Louis-Dreyfus' successful purchase of a majority shareholding from Stewart Donald was confirmed.

Rodwell joined Sunderland in April 2020, with one of his primary roles to oversee the transition of the club from Donald's ownership into new hands.

Louis-Dreyfus is keen to adopt a hands-on role in his position as chairman, and will work closley with Sunderland's recently-appointed sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.

There have also been suggestions that Louis-Dreyfus will install his twin brother, Maurice, into a senior position on the Black Cats' boardroom team.

Rodwell said: "It was an honour to be appointed CEO of such an iconic club and I will always be grateful for the opportunity Stewart Donald gave me.

"I also want to thank the board and staff at SAFC for the support they have given me during some exceptionally difficult times.

"It will always be a sadness that I did not get to experience a full and buzzing Stadium of Light as CEO – but the supporters who I have met during my time in the city have only reaffirmed what a wonderful support base the club is so fortunate to have.

"I am in no doubt that with control being transferred to Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, whose family have a stellar track record in football club ownership, those fans can look forward to a bright future."

Donald added: "Jim’s tireless work and calm professionalism in dealing with numerous bidding entities over the course of the last year or so has helped us achieve a very difficult task.

"Selling a football club is never straightforward, but to do so in the current environment has been especially challenging.

"I want to place on record my warm thanks for completing the task that he embarked upon back in the spring and wish him the very best for wherever his career takes him next."

Louis-Dreyfus said: "I would like to thank Jim for the support that he has given me during the sale process.

"His integrity and professionalism have been much in evidence, and the good leadership he has displayed in maintaining the stability of the club during the Covid-19 pandemic should also be recognised. We all wish him well for the future."