CROYDON Council's £180,000 chief executive Jon Rouse may not be replaced, the Advertiser can reveal.
Speaking after announcing the authority's top officer was to depart on March 10, council leader Mike Fisher hinted the role could be absorbed into a new cheaper management structure.
And he admitted the job could even be shared with a neighbouring borough.
"I am not saying there will be a new chief executive and I am not saying there won't be. I am not ruling anything in or out," Cllr Fisher told the Advertiser.
"We will look at the structure of the senior management team to see what is the most appropriate way forward in the future."
Cllr Fisher would also not dismiss the idea of sharing management with another authority – which has happened elsewhere in the country – but said it "would have to be demonstrably in the interests of Croydon".
The council leader had earlier told Monday's full council meeting that the corporate services committee would be asked on February 25 to approve the appointment of Nathan Elvery, one of two deputy chief executives and finance chief, as interim chief executive and returning officer for "up to 12 months".
Cllr Fisher said since the Conservatives took control of the council in 2006, the number of chief officers had been cut in half. He said: "We will look at the senior management team to see whether we can make even more efficiencies."
In addition to Mr Rouse, the senior team now comprises Mr Elvery as director of corporate resources and customer services, Hannah Miller who is charge of adult social care, health and housing, Paul Greenhalgh who runs children's services, a yet-to-be-appointed director in overall charge of planning, Julie Belvir, council solicitor, and Pamela Parkes, HR.
Mr Rouse's duties make him the local equivalent of the head of the Civil Service in charge of all council-paid staff.
He is also the council's returning officer, taking charge of elections, and has responsibilities to implement council policy and advise on policy and managing the day-to-day operations of the council.