MONTREAL - Saying it was “time for change for the club and for myself personally,” Larry Smith said Monday he was stepping down as president and chief executive officer of the Montreal Alouettes on Dec. 31.
Smith, a former Als running back and later a CFL commissioner, announced his resignation two weeks before the Als are to defend their CFL East Division title at Olympic Stadium. He said the team’s Grey Cup victory last year coupled with other recent successes were a sign that it was time to leave.
“I want to leave at the top,” Smith said. “I set 2010 as a checkpoint date regarding my career. After reviewing our situation with the successful completion of Phase II of the ... Molson Stadium renovation project, our 100-plus consecutive sellouts, our on-field success ... I felt it was time for change for the club and for myself personally.”
Smith has led the Als for 12 years. He had served as commissioner of the CFL from 1992 to 1997, overseeing the league's short-lived expansion to the United States. He was CEO of the Als from 1997 to 2001 and again from 2004 until his departure at year-end.
Smith -- who said he was “looking forward to starting on (his) next adventure” -- deflected rumours Monday that he’s considering a jump to federal politics, saying he’ll focus on his team’s playoff run before taking a vacation.
Alouettes Chairman Paul Harris will take over for Smith on an interim basis.