Florentino Perez tonight resigned as president of Real Madrid.
The club immediately announced Fernando Martin would replace him, stepping up from his previous role as vice-president.
Perez was less than two years into his second term as Real president, having been re-elected in July 2004.
Since the 58-year-old Perez replaced Lorenzo Sanz in 2000, Real have won the Primera Liga title twice and the Champions League once.
However, the club have not claimed any major silverware since winning the league in 2003 and look likely to finish this season empty-handed following a string of disappointing recent results.
Real were knocked out of the Copa del Rey semi-finals by Real Zaragoza earlier this month after losing the first leg 6-1, and they also suffered a 1-0 defeat in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter with Arsenal last week.
In the league, Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at struggling Real Mallorca saw Madrid fall 10 points behind leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona in the standings.
During his tenure, Perez has employed six different coaches at Real – Vicente Del Bosque, Carlos Queiroz, Jose Antonio Camacho, Mariano Garcia Remon, Wanderley Luxemburgo and Juan Ramon Lopez Caro.
The current coach, Lopez Caro, was appointed in December following the sacking of Brazilian Luxemburgo.
Under Peeress’s charge, Madrid signed England internationals David Beckham, Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate, as well as ‘galacticos’ Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo.