Leonard Ellerbe has resigned from his position as CEO of Mayweather Promotions and will be succeeded by former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced Thursday.

In a message posted to Mayweather’s Instagram social media account, the undefeated five-division champion and founder of Mayweather Promotions said Ellerbe would be exiting his role with the organization, apparently effective immediately.

“Mayweather Promotions would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Leonard Ellerbe for his exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication over the years,” the Instagram post read. “Leonard has been an integral part of our team, contributing to numerous business endeavors that have played a pivotal role in the success of Mayweather Promotions.

“After years of hard work and dedication, Leonard has made the heartfelt decision to step down as CEO to spend more time with his family and loved ones. We have the utmost respect for his decision and are incredibly grateful for his leadership that has helped shape Mayweather Promotions into the thriving organization it is today.”

Although recent rumors had swirled about the departure of Ellerbe, who had been an adviser to Mayweather dating back to early in his fighting career and who is the only person to have held the title of Mayweather Promotions CEO, Thursday’s news still came as something of a shock. But perhaps not as jarring as the return of Schaefer to prominence in boxing promotion.

Schaefer, who worked with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy from 2000 to 2016, went on to launch boxing promotions Ringstar Sports and Probellum, with mixed results. But as one of the key figures behind the promotion of some of Mayweather’s biggest fights, Schaefer steps into his new role having already developed a strong rapport with the boss.

“Floyd and me have been friends for a long time, and we have obviously had great success,” Schaefer told BoxingScene on Thursday. “I was very fortunate to promote many of his biggest fights, breaking pay-per-view records, and there was always a mutual respect between the two of us.

Schaefer praised Mayweather’s accomplishments in the ring but had more to say about the importance of the fighter’s influence outside of it today.

“He’s a global icon, he’s a global brand,” Schaefer said of Mayweather. “He has, like – what? – 30 million Instagram followers. To put that in perspective, that’s twice Tom Brady’s. That just shows you the kind of reach Floyd has. He really is a brand. And I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to expand that brand within boxing and outside of boxing as well.”

In particular, Schaefer says he is excited about combining his own business acumen – Schaefer is Swiss national who began his career in banking – with Mayweather’s talent-evaluation skills and career experience.

“Floyd can speak with these fighters because he knows the ins, the outs, the ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly,” Schaefer said.

“I’m going to be spending a lot of time with Floyd, sitting down, going through all of that and putting together the right plan to continue to build these fighters up. He has the best eye for talent. He knows how to find talent. You see how his cohort Gervonta Davis, how he built him up. He just has a tremendous eye for talent, which is something I think is so important because many promoters don’t really focus anymore on building up the young fighters – they just focus on the bigger fights.”

Schaefer is optimistic not only about his new lease on boxing and the future of Mayweather Promotions but also about the direction of boxing in general. He’s already envisioning the possibilities, including potentially combining forces with Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority chairman Turki Alalshikh, who has become one of boxing’s biggest power brokers.

“I’m excited about it, to do it with Floyd,” Schaefer said. “I’m very excited as well about where boxing is heading. I think a year ago we were at a crossroads. It looked pretty bleak, let’s be honest. Now, with His Excellency Turki Alalshikh coming in, putting these great fights together – fights we really wouldn’t have seen otherwise – he not only continues to give these top-level fighters opportunities, but what he does as well, which is just as important, if not more important, is he elevates the sport of boxing. He brings in a new fan base to the sport.”