FORMER tennis star and Australian Open supremo Paul McNamee has been appointed the new chief executive of AFL club Melbourne.

McNamee replaces Steve Harris, who quit earlier this year.

"It's an enormous and exciting challenge," McNamee said.

"I'm excited about the role at the Melbourne Football Club and believe there is a lot of potential for growth and success.

"The organisation possesses a great heritage and will be a platform for an exciting future."

McNamee was the CEO of the Australian Open tennis championships from 1999-2006.

He then spent two years as the executive chairman of the Australian Open golf championships.