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SAN DIEGO-Larry Lucchino, who served under San Diego Padres owner John Moores for seven years, will step down as the team’s president and chief executive officer Oct. 31.

Lucchino will continue to serve in an advisory capacity, including the direction of planning and design for the new ballpark and Downtown redevelopment district. But he says he and Moores jointly made the decision for Lucchino to step down from his executive position.

Lucchino, 55, also will retain his 10% ownership in the team. Bob Vizas, the club’s general counsel since September 1999, is to succeed Lucchino in November. Despite battles with cancer in the past, he said health was not a factor in the decision.

Speaking to the media last week, Lucchino said the decision isn’t a setback for the ballpark project. He said the legal barriers to the project have mostly been cleared and construction should resume late in the summer or early this fall.

Vizas said he has been heading the team’s negotiations with the city on the ballpark since February. The city’s ballpark bond package will likely go before the City Council in late September. The ballpark memorandum of understanding is set to expire after Sept. 30.

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