The DFL, the German football league, has announced Andreas Heyden will step down as chief executive of its digital subsidiary after seven years.

Heyden will officially leave his role as head of DFL Digital Sports on 31 July to pursue “new professional challenges outside the DFL Group.”

His contract with the organization was not due to expire until June 2023.

Bastian Zuber, the current chief operating officer of DFL Digital Sports, will take over from Heyden until further notice.

The DFL oversees Germany’s top-tier Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga.

Heyden joined the DFL in the summer of 2015 from Maxdome, the ProSiebenSat.1-owned video-on-demand platform.

In 2019, his role with the German soccer body was expanded as he took on the additional responsibility of leading the DFL Group’s dedicated digital innovation unit as executive vice president.  

The DFL has credited Heyden with more than tripling the reach of its digital channels.

Donata Hopfen, chief executive of the DFL, said: "Andreas Heyden is a great strategist and played a key role in the fact that the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 have developed so well digitally in the national and international markets. 

“This was recently demonstrated again at SportsInnovation, which, under the leadership of Andreas Heyden, has become the industry get-together for innovation and new technologies in sports. I would like to thank him for his great commitment and wish him all the best for the future.

"At the same time, I am very much looking forward to further intensive cooperation with Bastian Zuber, who has been working for DFL Digital Sports for ten years and has made a significant contribution to its successful development."

In addition to producing digital content, DFL Digital Sports operates platforms and creates international TV programs on behalf of the league.