The chief executive of Guardian Media Group, Sir Robert Phillis, is to retire at the end of July on health grounds.
Sir Robert was diagnosed with early stage bone marrow cancer last year and will undergo a bone marrow transplant later this year.
He will remain as a non-executive director on GMG’s board but will also resign from the Scott Trust which owns GMG.
GMG’s regional interests also include the Manchester Metro News and more than 40 other paid-for and free titles from across Berkshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Surrey.
Sir Robert said his treatment for the cancer has progressed well since its diagnosis.
He said: “By relinquishing my full time role as chief executive of the Group, I will be able to concentrate on my non-executive responsibilities and create the time and opportunity to pursue other interests.
“A search to identify my successor will be led by the chairman, Paul Myners, and the chair of the Scott Trust, Dame Liz Forgan, and the process will cover both internal and external candidates.”
Sir Robert, (60), joined GMG in December 1997 from the BBC, where he was deputy director-general for five years.
He has also worked in a variety of other senior roles within the BBC as well as being a former chief executive of ITN.