Veteran head referee Glen Johnson is the Canadian Football League's new vice-president, officiating.

The Winnipeg native retired Monday after 24 years as an official to assume the position with the league's head office. He replaces Tom Higgins, whose contract wasn't renewed.

"While Glen's talents as an on-field official will be sorely missed, we are absolutely thrilled he has agreed to take on this tremendously important role within the league office," CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said in a statement.

Johnson appeared in 416 career games and earned 11 Grey Cup appointments. That included the historic 100th game in 2012, which saw the Toronto Argonauts beat the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 at Rogers Centre.

"It has been an honour to officiate alongside trusted colleagues who are dedicated and passionate about our great game, its integrity and their important role within it," Johnson said.

"I welcome this opportunity to work with them in a new way at a time that the CFL is entering an exciting modern era marked by new stadiums, expansion and business growth."