David Smith has departed as Northamptonshire's chief executive after a difficult season in which the club were relegated from Division One of the Championship having failed to win a game and relinquished the T20 title they had won in 2013.

Following up the success of a first trophy in two decades and promotion from Division Two was always going to be a challenge and Northamptonshire were hit hard by injuries, including Alex Wakely being ruled out for the entire season, and difficulties in securing an overseas signing. At the end of the season, Northamptonshire released a raft of players, with Smith saying "inaction is not an option". Now they will be looking for a new chief executive as well.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my three years at Northants Cricket," Smith said. "During that time we have seen close on three million pounds worth of capital investment into members and spectators facilities. When our conference and facilities suite is finished in December, the club will have a real opportunity to develop a 52-week sustainable business model that will be less reliant on cricket match-day-associated revenues.

"We won the T20 competition in 2013, the club's first trophy in 21 years, as well as gaining promotion to division one during that year, so I feel I can look back with real pride on my contribution while CEO of the cricket club. The time is now right for me to look at other opportunities and for someone else to take the club to the next stage of its development."

Smith took charge at Wantage Road in late 2011, having been Leicestershire's chief executive for four seasons. A player with Warwickshire during the 1970s and '80s, Smith went into the leisure industry and later joined the club's committee before moving across the Midlands.

Northamptonshire chairman, Gavin Warren, added: "In the rapidly changing world of professional sport, it is vital for the club to continue to move forward and develop. Thanks to the good work over the last three years we have many opportunities both on and off the field, and the new chief executive will be appointed in the next few months to develop these."