PORT Adelaide will see change at the top next year with chief executive officer Keith Thomas announcing he will stand down at the end of October 2020.

Thomas has held the position as Power CEO since 2011, seeing the club rise from a 16th-placed finish in his first season at the helm to a preliminary final in 2014, but results have been disappointing over the past five years.

Keith Thomas was a big part of Port's push into China

However, the club has taken other big steps, notably being the constant factor and driving force behind the AFL's push into China with the annual Shanghai game.

"After more than eight years as CEO of this great club, now feels like the absolute perfect time to start the process of bringing in a new CEO to take Port Adelaide forward beyond 2020," Thomas told the club website.

"I have been in discussion with chairman David Koch for some time and we have both agreed this is the best outcome for me personally and, most importantly, for the football club.

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"Well run football clubs like Port Adelaide do not rush into transitions as important as this. Hence why we have given ourselves plenty of time to make this change in a steady, orderly manner."

Power chairman David Koch paid tribute to the work Thomas has put in at Alberton and the transformation of the club during his time in charge.

"I can say categorically that Keith Thomas has left the Port Adelaide Football Club in a vastly better position than when he started," Koch said.

"Keith engendered a spirit of humility, expectation and responsibility that lifted the club greatly."