George M Kennedy CBE will step down as chairman of Kent County Cricket Club at the 2017 Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 28 March.
Mr. Kennedy was invited to become President of Kent County Cricket Club in 2007, and the following year he was elected Chairman.
The businessman has overseen an eventful nine-year spell with the club with his aim to “make the club fit for purpose”.
Working with CEO Jamie Clifford since 2010, the club has recorded a £1million improvement in its finances through cost-cutting, increased sponsorship and ticket revenues allowing some investment.
Inheriting a difficult situation, the club sold naming rights to The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence to Shepherd Neame and invested in new club offices, café and convenience store as well as floodlights and refurbishment of the Chiesman Pavilion and Les Ames Stand.
Cricket has returned to a refurbished County Ground, Beckenham with a new 2,000-seater stand and modern indoor school to develop cricketers in metropolitan Kent.
Mr Kennedy said: “I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of helping the club navigate through some tricky times but I firmly believe Kent Cricket is in much better health than it was in 2008.
“We had to get our house in order financially before making strategic investments to ensure stable year-round income for the club and back our homegrown talent to be the core of the Kent side going forward.
“As a Life Member, I understand supporters want success yesterday but we had to rebuild steady foundations to give the club the healthy future it deserves.
“Last season gave us a glimpse of what could be achieved and I know that the club is in good hands. I’d like to thank all the Members and Supporters for their loyalty, patience and understanding and look forward to seeing Kent thrive in all competitions under Matt Walker and Sam Northeast.
“Relations with the ECB have been difficult with the advent of T20 discussions and the battle over promotion and relegation along with various other issues, but I am happy to hand over to a new regime who will continue the work to return Kent to the top table.”
Mr Kennedy joined the club in the 1970s, when his business career was with Smiths Industries, a FTSE 100 company. He served as a Main Board Director and Chair of the company’s Medical Division, and during this time he also chaired various Government committees on overseas trade, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.