John Ferguson has stepped down as chief executive and racing manager of Godolphin saying his position is untenable in light of comments by trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
Earlier this week, bin Suroor said in an interview with Racing Post he reported directly to Sheikh Mohammed amid reports of tension between his stable and that of Charlie Appleby.
“Given the recent articles in the media, it was clear my position was untenable,” Ferguson said in a statement to Press Association Sport.
“At times such as these, what matters is the future and my stepping down will allow everyone to draw a line under things and move forward.”
Joe Osborne, the managing director of Godolphin in Ireland, will take up the position of interim chief executive of Godolphin’s global operation.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has given me so much over the years – trust, opportunities, key experiences and perhaps most importantly kindness and counsel.
“For all of these things, I thank him with all of my heart.”
Ferguson had been bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed before taking charge in February 2014 after long-time racing manager Simon Crisford left after the organisation was engulfed by the steroids scandal involving trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Ferguson was appointed chief executive and racing manager in a re-shaped and streamlined Godolphin in December 2015 when the global racing and breeding empires of Sheikh Mohammed were merged into one operation.
John O’Shea, Godolphin’s head trainer in Australia, recently resigned with James Cummings to take up the position next month.