The AA has sacked its executive chairman Bob Mackenzie for "gross misconduct".
The news, which has resulted with him stepping down from the AA's board and as a director with immediate effect, has been greeted with shock and surprise.
Shares in the AA plunged by 12.8% by the end of stock market business today, wiping around £200m off the value of the company, taking its market value down to £1.3b.
Non-executive director John Leach has been appointed as chairman, while Simon Breakwell has been appointed as acting chief executive as the AA moves towards splitting the combined roles of executive chairman and chief executive. Both Leach and Breakwell joined the business in 2014, at the time of the AA's management buyout.
Breakwell, a founder of Expedia, is currently a venture partner at TCV and chairman of Business Data 4 Travel.
Mackenzie also joined the business that year to oversee the buyout, which led to the AA being listed on the stock market. Prior to that, the AA was owned by private equity firms Permira, Charterhouse and CVC.
In his role as executive chairman of the AA, Mackenzie oversaw all elements of the business, including hotel services. He regularly appeared at the annual AA Hospitality Awards to present the key accolades.
AA appoints hotel general manager as head of hotel services >>
Videos from The Caterer archives