STUART Davies has left his position as chief executive of the Dragons with David Buttress becoming the Rodney Parade region's executive chairman.

Former Wales back row forward Davies was appointed as Rodney Parade Ltd chief executive in February 2015, succeeding Gareth Davies after he left to become Welsh Rugby Union chairman.

Davies was instrumental in the Dragons initially hunting fresh investors and then turning to the WRU.

He was to the fore as the governing body attempted to convince Newport RFC shareholders to give the green light for a Dragons takeover and purchase of their historic ground.

The deal needed the backing from 75 per cent of voters and it hit 81 per cent after 351 said yes and 78 no.

“I will always be very proud of the historic and transformational change that I brought about for the region and of leading the business successfully through such a difficult period,” said Davies.

“As a result, the Dragons now have a wonderful opportunity and are well positioned to push on and enjoy exciting times in the years ahead.

“It has been an incredibly challenging few years, during which professional rugby was preserved in Gwent and rugby retained at an historic venue that continues to be home for Newport RFC also.

“Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving at this time, I wish the team and the staff the very best of luck and would like to thank all those who supported me during my time at Rodney Parade.

“This is a great region, full of passionate rugby people who are deserving of a team of which they can be proud. My hope is that in my time here, I have helped make that possible.”

The WRU takeover saw entrepreneur Buttress appointed as chairman in September and he heads a board featuring financial analyst David Reynolds and two governing body representatives, finance director Steve Phillips and board member Ian Jeffery.

Buttress will make a high level commercial appointment in the New Year as he restructures the business and administration team at Rodney Parade.

“I have been hugely excited by what I have seen at the Dragons since taking over as chairman and I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up further and getting even more involved in the business,” said Buttress, who has also invested a six-figure sum in the Dragons.

“These are really exciting times for the Dragons and I’d like to go on record to thank Stuart personally for his role in getting us to where we are today. He should be extremely proud of the contribution he has made to the Dragons.

“Our immediate next step is to grow a comprehensive and cohesive board strategy to build a strong commercial sports team in the region. One that is both sustainable and makes all of the people of Gwent proud.

“We want the Dragons to be one of the most attractive destinations for top players and coaches. We will also work hard on developing top local talent from clubs throughout the Gwent region. This is the cornerstone of our on-field strategy.

“I’m fully aware of the strength of feeling and the power and influence of rugby throughout the area, we know we have a huge challenge ahead to create a competitive modern Dragons which is truly representative of this region and which supports the clubs of Gwent.

“This is a challenge both I and the whole team relish. I know all the commercial team, players and coaches at the Dragons are fully behind what we are starting to do.

“We are working hard on making immediate and long term plans. These plans include redeveloping Rodney Parade to improve our operational revenues, engaging with a wider supporter base and building new commercial partnerships.

“There is a great deal to do and I know we can build something special over the next five years.”