Cologne president Wolfgang Overath has announced his immediate resignation at a general meeting of the board on Sunday.
Overath only recently revealed he would not be standing for re-election at the end of his term in 2013, but he has brought that decision forward by announcing that he and the club's vice-presidents Jurgen Glowacz and Friedrich Neukirch would be stepping down immediately.
"At the end of today's member's meeting, we will be resigning from our positions as president and vice-presidents," read a statement released by the trio. "The decision was a tough one because Cologne is always close to our hearts, and will remain so.
"The burden over recent months has been very high for all of us."
Overath, who has been at the helm for seven years, believes he leaves the club (currently 11th in the Bundesliga table on 16 points) in a better position than it was when he accepted the role.
"Cologne is set up well for the future," continued the statement. "The sporting management of director of sport Volker Finke and coach Stale Solbakken, who we appointed, are doing a great job and the team has enough potential.
"We would like to wish our club and all Cologne fans a successful future, and our successors the very best of luck. We would like to thank everybody who has accompanied, supported and had faith in us throughout these seven years.
"We would like to thank the fans - the lifeblood of this club. And we would like to thank the sponsors and businesses who have supported the club immensely."
The search for their replacement will now commence.