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White was in Dubai for an ICC meeting when speculation began building that Ross Taylor's hold on the job was looking shaky, and he didn't get back to Auckland until Wednesday.
At a media conference today, he announced that Brendon McCullum would skipper the Black Caps in all three forms of the game on their tour of South Africa, while Taylor would take a break from international cricket.
The change comes after a review of the tour of Sri Lanka in which New Zealand lost the one-day series but salvaged a 1-1 draw in the Test series.
"We regret the way the review, and in particular the captaincy, has been played out publicly," White said.
"But it was very important that I, as CEO, was here in the country to front this media conference."
Asked if the messy episode would damage fans' support for New Zealand cricket, White didn't think it would have a significant effect.
"Ultimately, we will be judged on our performances on the field."
White said ticket sales for England's tour of New Zealand in February and March had been "huge".
University Oval in Dunedin was close to selling out for the first Test, although the ground did have a small capacity.
White said he had spoken to sponsors and had received no direct expressions of concern, "but I don't think any negative news in the media is good".