Richard Scudamore has run English football’s top flight since 1999.
Incoming Premier League chief executive Susanna Dinnage has described her new job as the “pinnacle of professional sport”.
The television executive, currently global president of Discovery’s Animal Planet brand, will take over from Richard Scudamore as the Premier League’s new boss early in the new year.
She joined Discovery in 2009 and previously ran its British and Irish operation, which included responsibility for Eurosport.
Scudamore has run English football’s top flight since 1999, but announced his intention to step down as its executive chairman earlier this year.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Burnley chairman Mike Garlick and Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan led the recruitment process to find the new chief executive and they will now begin looking for a non-executive chairman, as the roles are being split again.
In a statement, Dinnage said: “I am excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role. The Premier League means so much to so many people.
“It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege. With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come.”
Buck described her as “the outstanding choice” from a “very strong field” of candidates.
The announcement was made after a hastily-arranged meeting with club chairmen and chief executives in London on Tuesday. Such was the short notice that most of them took part via conference call.
Dinnage’s appointment will come as a surprise to many as she was not mentioned among the early runners and riders, who included former Prime Minister Tony Blair at one stage and more plausibly BBC Studios boss Tim Davie and ITV director of strategy Tom Betts.
But experience of the broadcasting landscape is the key consideration for this job and Dinnage has that in spades, having started her career at MTV and then progressed to Channel Five.
During her time at Discovery, Eurosport was linked with a bid for Premier League broadcast rights and it snapped up the European rights for the Olympics between 2018 and 2024.
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke said the governing body’s board had been unanimous in ratifying Dinnage’s appointment.
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