The director of the Press Complaints Commission, Tim Toulmin, is to step down at the end of the year.
Toulmin, who has been director of the PCC for nearly six year, will leave the press watchdog after 13 years on 18 December.
He joined the PCC as a graduate in 1996, having read history at Peterhouse, Cambridge.
The PCC said it had begun the process to appoint Toulmin’s successor and would place adverts in the national press and interview prospective candidates in the coming weeks, possibly as early as next month.
Toulmin said: “I decided earlier in the year that after 13 years at the PCC, and nearly six as its director – it would be right for me to move on after helping to ensure a smooth transition from Christopher Meyer to Peta Buscombe.
“It has been a privilege to be part of an organisation which has adapted well to the challenges of media convergence and the changing legal environment, and it is gratifying that there is an ever-increasing demand and respect for the PCC’s range of services – from pre-publication action preventing intrusion to the negotiation of prominent corrections and apologies.
“The way in which the press is regulated will perhaps always divide opinion, but thanks to its brilliant and dedicated staff the PCC has a record of achievement of which any director would be proud”.
Baroness Buscombe, who replaced Sir Christopher Meyer as commission chairman in March, announced a wholesale review of the way the organisation is run last month.
Buscombe said: “Tim told me in the early summer that he wanted to move on at the end of the year.
“I have enjoyed working with him over the last few months, and been most grateful to him for his support, but I do of course understand his reasons for wanting to explore other avenues.
“On behalf of the commission as a whole I would like to thank him for everything he has done for us, and wish him all the best for the future.”