Somerset Cricket Club chief executive Richard Gould is leaving Taunton to take up the same position with Surrey.
The ex-Army officer, who joined Somerset from Bristol City Football Club, where he was director of commercial matters, in July 2005, will take up his new job at the start of next month.
Gould, son of former Wales soccer manager Bobby Gould, has overseen extensive ground developments at Taunton, which have boosted finances and helped Somerset develop one of the most powerful county teams in the country.
That work has clearly not gone unnoticed by Surrey, who view him see as the ideal replacement for the long-serving Paul Sheldon, about to leave The Oval after 16 years as chief executive.
Gould said: “The role of chief executive of Somerset is one I have treasured and I hope I have lived up to expectations.
“As a club, we have enjoyed some excellent times over the last six years and I owe an enormous debt of thanks to chairman Andy Nash for his constant support, as well as the club committee, the members, the players and the excellent staff. Somerset is a very special club.
“I am excited at the challenge offered by Surrey and it is the only county that could have tempted me away from Somerset at this time.
“I was born in London when my Dad was playing football for Arsenal and I played at The Oval as a schoolboy, so it is another club with whom I have significant links. It is a big job and one that I am looking forward to getting to grips with.”
Somerset chairman Andy Nash said: “I have mixed feelings about Richard’s departure. I am absolutely delighted that he has secured such an excellent opportunity and it reflects very well on Somerset that we are developing not only our players for England, but also our senior managers to go on to prestigious roles and greater challenges.
“At the same time, I am very sorry to see Richard move on as he has been a truly great companion, colleague and combatant to work alongside.
“We do try to anticipate this sort of thing and our plans to replace Richard are in place. I shall make an announcement on our new chief executive in due course.”