New Zealand Rugby League has announced former SANZAAR boss Greg Peters as their new CEO.
Newshub understands the Peters headed off a challenge from former Breakers General Manager Richard Clark.
Acting CEO and NZRL deputy chair Hugh Martyn has occupied the job since Hayton's resignation.
Chariman Rion Edwards said Peters fit the mould of what type of leader they were seeking perfectly.
"What our game needs right now is some strong leadership – a strong leader with resilience and someone who understands the grassroots structure of New Zealand rugby league," Edwards told media in Auckland.
"It's fair to say Greg's CV speaks for itself. He is a proven CEO and we are extremely excited to have him on board."
The move signals a switch of codes for the long-time rugby administrator, who has been out of work since an 18 month stint as general manager of the Argentine Rugby Union.
Peters had previously spent five years at SANZAR after four years leading both Wellington Rugby and the Hurricanes.
Peters spoke of the importance of developing three key strengths within the organisation. Culture, community and commercial.
"I will bring a values type leadership style to this administration. That is something I have lived by through the years through sport and it stands in pretty good stead to have that approach," Peters said.
"I want to be transparent – including with the media and within the organisation.
"I want to bring a culture of high performance both on and off the field.
"Whilst the players need to do their very best on the field, we need to perform at a high standard as well.
"I think rugby league has a very unique capability of galvanising, unifying and inspiring communities. Getting to them in ways any other sport can get to people.
"It’s a passion of mine to see the community game grow. I want to connect with that part of the community in rugby league and provider the support and funding to our volunteers throughout that side of the game."
Peters' first assignment in charge will be overlooking the Kiwis test trip to Denver in June to play England in a one-off test.