AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan at a media opportunity on September 6, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

OUTGOING AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is planning to leave his post after round five of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership season.

In a message to AFL staff, McLachlan said he had discussed the timing of his exit with AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder and they had agreed the competition's round in Adelaide from April 13-16 was appropriate.

McLachlan announced his resignation in April this year and initially planned to leave the League by season's end, but several issues including the Hawthorn racism investigation, the collective bargaining agreement negotiations and the proposed 19th licence in Tasmania have delayed his departure.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder. Picture: AFL Photos

Goyder said in a statement that the League's search for a new CEO had narrowed the field to a shortlist of candidates drawn from inside and outside the AFL industry.

He said the Commission hoped to sign off on McLachlan's replacement as AFL CEO early in 2023.

"Additionally, with several key priorities still in play, including finalising a position on a 19th license for Tasmania, the Player CBA and the AFL's response to the Hawthorn racism allegations, Gill has agreed to delay his departure until after the Toyota AFL Premiership Season Round Five celebrations in Adelaide," Goyder said.

"It is important the AFL has continuity during this period as we continue to work through some incredibly significant and complex pieces of work for the industry. 

"As you know, Gill initially committed to finishing at the end of the year, and I thank him for agreeing to stay in the leadership role for an additional period as we navigate through a critically important time."

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas and AFL CEO Gill McLachlan at the Adelaide Oval on Nov 11, 2022. Picture: AFL Media