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Two of the AFL's most senior executives, including newly-promoted commercial boss Richard Simkiss, have resigned.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan confirmed the departures of Simkiss and football operations boss Simon Lethlean after allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Both men handed in their resignations this week, McLachlan said, following "significant mistakes". It is believed two incidents leading to the departures were not related.

McLachlan would not be drawn on the specifics of either indiscretion, describing them as "workplace and personal" matters. Both incidents have been reported as the senior staffers having "inappropriate relations" with junior AFL staff. The resignations followed an emergency meeting of the AFL Commission yesterday.

Simkiss had only been in the top commercial role since March, having been promoted as part of a wider overhaul of senior AFL management.

In a statement released by the AFL, Simkiss apologised for his actions and a "serious lapse of judgement," and asked for privacy following his departure.

"It has been a privilege working for the game, and I have had the opportunity to work with many great people across both AFL clubs and partners."

"I hope that, in time, my work for the AFL in delivering commercial strength to the game for the benefit of fans, clubs and corporate partners will be remembered," he said.

The AFL's general manager of digital, audiences and growth, Darren Birch, will take over the commercial operations portfolio. He previously led commercial at the code for seven years before moving to his new role in March.

McLachlan indicated the AFL would look to replace Lethlean externally, but did not say whether commercial was a permanent addition to Birch's remit.

"Simon and Richard have both been honest and forthright to me, and to their credit owned their mistakes and do not want the work of the AFL to be impacted by their actions," said McLachlan.

"Both men have been outstanding servants of this industry. They made a mistake and have taken account, that's all I can ask of them."

"The journey we are on to a more equal and respectful workplace must be more than just words - it must be backed up with action and change."


This story was updated at 2.57pm to include Richard Simkiss's statement