After the announcement in March of the retirement of Arie van Eijden as managing director of Ajax per 1 April 2006 at the latest, the club has searched for a successor. It gives Ajax great pleasure to have found him in the person of Maarten Fontein, who will join Ajax per 1 November of this year and will succeed Arie van Eijden as the club's managing director a month later.
Maarten Fontein can be described as a man with an exemplary record in both the corporate and sports world. The 53-year old Fontein, father of six among whom two adopted Chinese children, has had a very varied career with much international experience at Unilever, while he can also look back on a successful career as a cricket international and sports manager. These two aspects - experience in international corporate management and active and organisational experience in sports - make Fontein the right man in the right place when he takes over for Arie van Eijden.
It is an exiting time for Maarten Fontein. He will appear in the spotlights after 29 years at Unilever. ‘I can't wait to get started at Ajax and I think this job comes at the right time for me. I have always been an Ajax fan. I can still vividly remember the bus trip to Paris on 5 March 1969, when I, as a 17-year old, went to see the decisive match of Ajax against Benfica. It must have been in the stars for me to be able to work for Ajax, for I have always dreamed of combining my corporate experience with sports. This is a great challenge for me, as a professional, a sportsman and as an Ajax fan. The idea is that everyone and everything should be focussed on one goal: Ajax back at the top of Europe. With coach Danny Blind and technical director Martin van Geel the technical side is running smoothly. Like me, they too have always been team players. I look forward to working with them and with all other Ajax people.’