Randy Lerner has taken a further step back from running Aston Villa by appointing Steve Hollis as club chairman.
American owner Lerner has confirmed Hollis, a former deputy chairman of Birmingham Metropolitan College, as his replacement at Villa Park.
Lerner had promised to step down as chairman last May if he failed to sell the club, who are bottom of the Premier League, last summer.
In a statement, he said: “Regarding my future role with Villa, I expect to remain engaged with both Steve and Tom (Fox, chief executive) although at a somewhat further distance that I believe suits the reality that I live full-time in the States. That is appropriate given Steve’s need to have the room to make decisions on behalf of the board.
“Villa’s success is dependent in aggregate on the skills, determination and commitment of the manager, chief executive and chairman. I believe Steve can contribute meaningfully alongside Tom and Remi (Garde, manager) and identify opportunities that can take the club forward.”
Villa are eight points from safety and host second-placed Leicester on Saturday having ended a 19-match winless run by beating Crystal Palace 1-0 on Tuesday.
With the club looking likely to be relegated to the Championship after five years of battling the drop, Hollis admitted Villa need a “shake up”.
“The club needs a shake up and with Randy’s continued support the board will look forward to working with Tom and Remi to help drive the changes that our fans rightfully demand and that our city can be proud of,” he said.
“As we have witnessed in the Premier League this year with other clubs – money no longer buys success. Randy has consistently provided financial backing no less so than last year. Our future success however lies in building a winning culture that is underpinned by a commitment to continuous improvement both on and off the pitch.”