Gold Coast have appointed Andrew Travis as their new chief executive officer, replacing AFL-bound Travis Auld at the helm of the Suns.

Gold Coast have appointed from within. with chief operating officer Andrew Travis confirmed as the AFL club’s new chief executive.

Travis had been acting CEO at the Suns following the departure of Travis Auld to the AFL’s executive last month.

The 44-year-old, who has been COO at the Suns since their inception, will take up the role immediately and lead the hunt for a new head coach following last week’s sacking of Guy McKenna.

Travis said he was looking forward to taking on the role.

“It is a very exciting time to be at the Suns, with a playing list that is the envy of the league, and a great stadium,” he said in a statement.

Finding McKenna’s replacement will be the first major step in Travis’s reign.

Two-time premiership coach Mark Thompson was an unbackable favourite to take up the position following McKenna’s axing.

But the continued speculation over James Hird’s future at Essendon and Thompson’s absence from the country have muddied the waters in relation to the Suns’ pursuit of Thompson.

Having led the Bombers during Hird’s suspension this season, Thompson is viewed as the man who would take over at Windy Hill if Hird is sacked by the club.

Should the 50-year-old snub the Suns, Travis and the club’s board will have to consider other potential coaches such as former Brisbane mentor Michael Voss or current assistant coach and former Port Adelaide head coach Matthew Primus.

Suns chairman John Witheriff said Travis had beaten over 100 applicants to the position.

He comes to the job with a deep understanding of our club, a passion for the next stage of our journey, and ready to hit the ground running as CEO,” Witheriff said.

“Andrew has the respect of the club and the industry, and his strong relationships across the AFL will deliver for the Gold Coast Suns.”