Simon Lethlean and Andrew Bassat at a St Kilda media conference in October 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA is on the hunt for a new CEO after the shock decision to part ways with Simon Lethlean.

The club released a statement on Thursday morning, declaring that the board and Lethlean had agreed that it was best for the Saints to seek a new leader after "the demands of the club... shifted". 

Lethlean had been at the club for six years, and was promoted to the role of CEO in late 2022.  

Former North Melbourne CEO and managing director Carl Dilena, who has been at the Saints as chief operating officer under Lethlean since late 2022, will step up as interim CEO. 

St Kilda president Andrew Bassat thanked Lethlean for his work as general manager of football, chief operating officer and CEO since joining the club ahead of the 2018 season.

During that time, the Saints played finals in 2020 and 2023, and enjoyed record membership and sponsorship in 2023, the club's 150th year.

As football boss, Lethlean oversaw the re-signing of Brett Ratten as senior coach for two more years in July 2022, only for Ratten to be sacked three months later after an end-of-season review and replaced with Ross Lyon.   

Simon Lethlean during a media conference ahead of St Kilda's 150th year celebration game against Essendon in March 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"The club has undergone significant changes as a result of the 2022 football program review which highlighted the need to elevate our football department and place football at the heart of everything we do, which we hope will see St Kilda competing for premierships before too long," he said.  
"Simon and the board share the view that a new CEO would be best placed to take the club forward. 
"We wish Simon all the best and thank him for his commitment to the club and the contribution he made to St Kilda and our community.” 

(L-R): Simon Lethlean, Ross Lyon and Andrew Bassat pose out the front of RSEA Park on October 24, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Lethlean said he was grateful for the opportunities St Kilda had afforded him. 

"It is always a privilege to work in football, and I have had a great six years at St Kilda. I have loved every role, from GM football, chief operating officer and as CEO,” Lethlean said.  
"I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people, and the members of the club can feel very proud of the commitment and hard work of all the staff and players at the club. It is an organisation with a lot of heart, and I want to thank past and present staff and players for all their support.  
"The club has a new coach and a new strategy, and I have agreed with the president that it is time for the club to seek a new CEO."

Before joining the Saints, Lethlean held a number of executive roles at the AFL over several years, including managing the League's fixturing and broadcasting, game development, and football operations. 

He resigned from the AFL in mid-2017 after revelations he had an inappropriate relationship with a female AFL employee.