John Williams is to succeed Peter Heard as the new chairman of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), reports fcbusiness. The former Blackburn Rovers chairman will take up his new position at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Activities that Williams will undertake in his role include attending and chairing the regular board meetings, promoting PGMOL and working to further their aims and objectives, providing strategic advice and support for PGMOL General Manager Mike Riley.
Williams said: "I'm looking forward to building on the excellent work of Peter Heard, Mike Riley and PGMOL Board, who can be rightly proud of the high standards of officiating in this country.
"My involvement will primarily be at a strategic level but I expect to have some tactical engagement with the wider stakeholders groups involved in refereeing. It's incredibly important to continually build the cooperation and communication between players, managers and match officials."
Formed in 2001 to improve refereeing standards, the PGMOL group officiates across all the Premier League, Football League and FA Competitions and is joint-funded by those bodies.
The training, development and mentoring of 77 referees and 231 assistant referees is run by General Manager Mike Riley and a team of managers and coaches. The most high profile officials are the 16 full-time professional Select Group officials.
Mike Riley said: "On behalf of PGMOL we would like to thank Peter Heard for his excellent chairmanship. Peter has overseen the professionalisation of officiating from its beginnings in 2001 to its position now as one of the most respected bodies in world refereeing.
"The accuracy and fitness of our Select Group officials has never been better, the relationships we have with the likes of the Professional Footballers' Association and the League Managers Association never stronger.
"We are excited about John's arrival. He is a hugely respected figure in boardrooms across English football and has an excellent knowledge of both the opportunities and challenges of modern football. We are certain he will improve the standards of PGMOL further."