Tim Kitchen, the managing director of Bristol United Press, is to leave the company.
He took up the post in March 2004 and will retire in April for health reasons.
The newspapers he is in charge of, the Bristol Evening Post and Western Daily Press, are at the centre of controversy after 36 editorial posts were identified for redundancies as part of Northcliffe’s Aim Higher cost saving programme.
The consultation process is still underway and talks have been held between the staff and the newspapers’ management.
A memo from Northcliffe managing director Michael Pelosi said Tim had actually tendered his resignation eight months ago but was persuaded to work a lengthy notice period to help see through the Aim Higher initiative and other changes at the Bristol publishing centre.
Tim, (50), joined the newspaper industry in 1978 as an advertising sales representative at the Leicester Mercury.
He progressed through management posts at the Retford and Gainsborough Times, the Lincolnshire Echo and after four years in Lincoln became deputy managing director of the Sentinel in Stoke-on-Trent.
He became MD at the Express and Echo in Exeter in 1993, before moving to become managing director of the Derby Daily Telegraph Ltd two years later.
Tim said: “I have been extremely proud to work for Northcliffe for more than 27 years.
“However, I have taken this decision on two grounds.
“Firstly, as a result of living away from my family, who are still based in Staffordshire, and secondly, for concerns about my health.
“It has been a difficult decision but one that I know is both right for me and for the business.”
Michael Pelosi said: “Tim has been a highly valued colleague for many years. However, he has taken his decision to retire on health grounds.
“As many of you will recollect, Tim had major heart surgery a few years ago and he now feels that it would be best for him and his family if he were to take things easier.
“Although there are still a little over four months to go until he leaves, I would like to take this opportunity to wish him a long, healthy and enjoyable retirement.”
An announcement about Tim’s successor is expected to be made soon.