Gillon McLachlan has accepted a request from the AFL Commission to stay on as chief executive into 2023 as the league's extensive search for his replacement continues.
McLachlan had initially intended to stand down at the end of this year but will remain in the post until after the festival of football celebration in round five next season.
AFL staff and club presidents were informed about the change of plan by Commission chairman Richard Goyder on Wednesday.
Goyder asked McLachlan to steer the league through several key priorities that are yet to be completed.
At the top of the list is the investigation into racism allegations against Hawthorn officials.
The league is also negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with AFL and AFLW players, and there has been no decision as yet on whether a 19th licence will be awarded to a new Tasmanian team.
Goyder told club presidents the league had interviewed CEO candidates from inside and outside the AFL industry, with McLachlan's replacement set to be appointed early next year.
AFL executives Travis Auld, Andrew Dillon and Kylie Rogers have all been interviewed, as have club chief executives Brendon Gale (Richmond), Tom Harley (Sydney) and Dave Matthews (GWS).