Leeds have announced the shock departure of executive director Adam Pearson for personal reasons.
Pearson, 50, returned to Elland Road in May to help owner Massimo Cellino run the club, but has confirmed his decision to quit in an open letter.
Pearson said: “It is with great disappointment that I have to confirm I’ll be taking a break from Leeds United and football in general, in order to focus on other personal and business interests.
“I have really enjoyed my time at Leeds United and would like to thank everybody, the staff and supporters, that have made me feel so welcome.
“I’d also like to thank Mr Cellino for allowing me to work closely with him in what I feel has been a very productive summer for the football club.
“There are some outstanding staff members in both coaching and administrative roles and an emerging young team that I am sure, with Mr Cellino’s continued support, will ultimately find their way back to the Premier League.”
Pearson did not rule out a return to the club and Cellino said he would welcome him back at any time in the future.
“It is with a huge level of disappointment that I cannot continue to contribute to the revival of what now is a very strong football club once more.
“I wish Uwe and his coaching team all the very best in their quest for a successful season and it is reassuring to see the club moving forward again in such a positive manner. Once again, thank you for your support.
Cellino has taken on a quieter role at Elland Road after unveiling Pearson as his “right-hand man” in May, his decision to do so heralded by many as his best signing of the summer.
The 59-year-old Italian added: “I want to thank Adam for his efforts and his loyalty to Leeds United.
“I will be keeping the role open for him and I hope to welcome him back at some point in the future.
“We worked very well together and we will remain good friends. He will always have my support.
“It saddens me that he is stepping away to focus on other personal and business interests, but he knows that he is welcome back at the club if he feels ready.”