With a little less fanfare and pizzaz than his predecessor, Bob East officially slipped into the role as Gold Coast chairman last Sunday morning.

After seven years in the role, colourful, passionate, and sometimes outspoken former leader Tony Cochrane handed the baton to East following Saturday night's loss to Sydney at Heritage Bank Stadium.

They're big shoes to fill.

On the surface, Cochrane and East are polar opposites.

Cochrane is the life of any room he walks into, always willing to share a view. At Cochrane's final chairman's dinner on Saturday night, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan joked – and yes, he had an enormous grin when he said it – that Cochrane was the least humble man who's favourite saying was "in my humble opinion".

It even drew a grin from Cochrane, who has been at the centre of verbal stoushes with Leigh Matthews, Eddie McGuire and anyone wanting to talk about a 19th AFL license over his tenure.

East is more quietly spoken. Growing up in Toowoomba, 90 minutes west of Brisbane, he was not exposed to Australian football as a youngster, but grew a passion for the game that hit a crescendo with a four-year stint in Melbourne in the late 1990s.

He's forged an incredibly successful business career, as a founder of accommodation provider the Mantra Group. He also has extensive experience in leading boardrooms, previously being the chairman of Tourism Australia and Tourism Events Queensland.

East has been a member of Gold Coast's board since its inception and says he prefers to "sit back and let others take the limelight" but realises football chairmen sometimes have to act differently than they do in the business world.

He was full of praise for Cochrane but said he would have a different style.

"Tony has deep experience in sport and media and I've enjoyed watching his approach to both of those things," East said in a lengthy chat with AFL.com.au.

"I'm not about to compare how I'll approach things relative to Tony. I'm very happy to be vocal when necessary, on topics that are important to us.

"I'll be loud and proud about promoting and or protecting interests for the Gold Coast SUNS. I think I've learnt a bit from Tony about how to do some of those things.

"I'll bring about my style in doing that. It probably won't be as loud as Tony on the sidelines sometimes, but I'm hoping I'll be able to advocate to those things necessary for this organisation."

In an address to members, sponsors and the club at the SUNS' season launch, East was bullish about the club's prospects, and says he wanted a narrative shift.

Just starting their 13th season in the AFL, East said it was time to move away from the youthful tag, as a team and organisation, and set the bar higher. He wants premierships and he wants it out there.

This is where he and Cochrane are perhaps more similar than they appear on the surface.

East is incredibly driven and says there's three main areas to focus on in the coming years: football success; engagement (with the community, sponsors and members); and financial stability.

"I have very high aspirations for this club," he said.

"By changing the narrative and by saying you want to win premierships – we fully acknowledge the hard work that goes into winning a premiership, it's not a trivial statement – it changes the way people engage with us.

"It builds expectations internally, which is wonderful, every organisation should be aspiring for those things that are achievable.

"I wouldn't be as bullish in the narrative if I honestly thought we were in complete rebuild and thought finals were not even a prospect, but we know they absolutely are.

"We should be driving for that success in September, and we want the community at large and all those individuals and organisations that attach themselves to this club, to know that we're absolutely serious about this.

"We're not here to participate, we are here, unapologetically, to have success in September. I really think it was time for a narrative change.

"There's no smooth sailing, but I believe the organisation has the belief that success is possible.

"I'm sure there will be good and bad times ahead, but it has been an absolute fantastic month as I start to get my head around it and I'm incredibly excited by it."