The club announced on Wednesday that Australian Montemurro would be leaving his role on May 31 in order to “take a professional break to recharge” and spend more time with his family.
The 51-year-old - who left his role as assistant coach at Melbourne City to succeed Pedro Martinez Losa in November 2017 - described the decision to depart as “probably one of the most difficult decisions” of his career.
“I think it’s one of those where I can’t pinpoint one particular thing,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “There have been a few things professionally and personally that made me come to this decision, but I know it’s the right one for the club and the team going forward and myself.
“I still think of the fact that I can’t believe I’ve been able to wear this badge and represent the club in the manner that I’ve tried to do, with the utmost respect and utmost integrity. I’ve had the ability to have worked with some amazing athletes and some amazing people and all the players have been absolutely fantastic, the ones that started journey and the ones that are still here.
“I think the work that we’ve all done both as staff and as players has brought us to a very good spot with the women’s team and there’s an excellent base to go forward, and I’m sure the team will be bigger, better and stronger going forward from here.”
Montemurro won the Women’s Super League (WSL) title in 2019 also also guided Arsenal to League Cup success as well as reaching three other domestic finals.
His side currently sit fourth in the WSL after a 3-0 north London derby win over Tottenham, 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City as they fight for a Champions League spot.
Arsenal’s chief executive Vinai Venkatesham confirmed that the search for Montemurro’s successor would commence immediately, coinciding with a “thorough review” of the Arsenal Women setup that is already well underway.
Venkatesham will be involved in that process along with the Arsenal Women management, Arsenal’s people director Karen Ann Josephides and technical director Edu.
“We're going to be looking for someone to build on the illustrious history that Arsenal Women have, build on the legacy that Joe is going to leave, and also leads us into a new era for women's football,” Venkatesham said.
“An era where the popularity of the game has never been higher and the competitiveness of the game has never been higher, both here and internationally.”
In what qualities Arsenal would be looking for in Montemurro’s replacement, he added: “First and foremost we want to bring on board someone we are comfortable can help us achieve our sporting ambitions, to help us be as successful as we can in the domestic game - so to compete to win the WSL title - and someone who can help us be successful in Europe as well.
“We will be looking for someone who can continue to play the type of football Arsenal fans want to see their teams playing, and we will also be looking for somebody who will really respect the values of the club and be a positive ambassador for Arsenal both on the pitch and off the pitch.
“Ultimately this is a fantastic job, it's an opportunity to be the head coach of the most successful women's team in the country at a time when women's football is exploding in popularity. So I know we're going to have a fantastic shortlist of candidates to choose from.”