Panthers boss to leave on Friday

Penrith Panthers CEO Shane Richardson will officially leave the club this week and start the tedious task of re-building the South Sydney Rabbitohs from next Tuesday.

Richardson stunned the rugby league community last week by announcing plans to leave the side he guided to their second ever premiership for a challenge at South Sydney, who are widely tipped to be awarded the dubious honour of wooden spooners this year.

The Panthers aren?t in a rush to appoint their new CEO though, and will run without a man at the helm until a replacement is found.

?We had a meeting with staff this morning and it is apparent that Shane Richardson is leaving behind a very good structure,? Panthers Group CEO Roger Cowan said yesterday.

?Everyone knows what their job is and is getting on with it smoothly. We will be meeting regularly to make sure that it stays that way.?

?There is no need to rush into appointing a new CEO. Certainly, we intend to go through a very stringent selection process for a replacement because Shane will be a hard act to follow.?

Panthers Recruitment Manager Michael Leary has been appointed as Football Operations Manager and will be the contact point between Coach John Lang and the NRL until the selection process is completed.

Cowan said the process would take ?as long as it takes?, hinting to the fact that a new CEO may not be named until the conclusion of the current season.

Richardson and John Lang joined Penrith in 2002 and within 12 months had turned the club into a premiership winning force.

He?s hoping to do the same at South Sydney, but will be without Lang, who has signed a lengthy deal with the Panthers.