The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will begin the search for a new chief executive after Steve Brown announced he will stand down from the post at the end of the year.
Brown has been with the governing body for English rugby since 2011 and was the managing director of the organising committee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
He took over as the RFU's chief executive since September 2017, with director of professional rugby Nigel Melville will fill the role on an interim basis until a full-time replacement is found.
"This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, and I informed the RFU board earlier this week that the time is right for me to step down and take some time out," Brown said.
"I've loved my time in rugby and am deeply proud to have made a contribution to a sport I love."