Ajax appoints Alex Kroes as new CEO and Chairman of the board
The Supervisory Board of Amsterdam Football Club Ajax appointed Alex Kroes as the new managing director and chairman of the board, the club announced on Wednesday. He will be the successor to Edwin van der Sar, who resigned as the CEO at Ajax in May after the men’s team finished in third place in the Eredivisie.
The Amsterdam club stated that Kroes's official appointment date is contingent upon the resolution of a one-year non-competition clause in his current contract with AZ Alkmaar, a matter which is still being investigated. According to the club, this process could potentially last for several months or even a year. Once a date has been confirmed, Ajax will formally inform its shareholders of the planned appointment of Kroes in a special meeting. In the meantime, the existing board will take over the CEO's responsibilities.
"We are pleased to have found Alex Kroes as a candidate who is eager to take on this important role and meets the profile to fulfill this position,” Ajax President-Commissioner Pier Eringa declared. “We are still in the process of determining when he can start, but the initial significant steps have been taken. We will, of course, provide an update as soon as more information becomes available," he added.
Kroes was already on Ajax's radar following the forced departure of Marc Overmars due to inappropriate behavior. Kroes was a major shareholder of the Deventer-based football club Go Ahead Eagles and has been working at AZ Alkmaar as Director of International Football Strategy since December 2022.
Kroes was part of Ajax's youth academy as a teenager and has been a member of the Ajax club for more than three decades. He also remains actively involved as a football player in Ajax's Saturday department, currently playing for the fifth team.
"I am thrilled and proud that the club has approached me for this position,” Alex Kroes said. “I still have responsibilities at AZ, and I will continue to fulfill them during this period. I am grateful to AZ for the opportunities and wonderful times I had there," he added.
In a statement published on Wednesday, AZ stated it "noted with surprise Ajax's intention to appoint our board member Alex Kroes as Ajax's general manager/director, and Kroes' formal termination of his employment contract with AZ."
The Alkmaar club declared that despite the surprise and the existence of a clear non-competition clause, it will approach the situation "with all fairness and cooperation" to look for a solution that is acceptable to all parties and also serves AZ's interests. "Discussions will be held about this in the upcoming period, and while these are underway, AZ will refrain from offering any substantive commentary."
The club also noted that Kroes's employment contract at AZ was formally terminated on September 1. "But as of today, he will no longer perform any work for AZ," the club further stated. In the interim, the current board will assume Kroes's responsibilities.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times