Betty McBride, director of policy and communications at the British Heart Foundation, will retire from the charity in May.
McBride – who developed the awareness campaign in which the footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones explained the virtues of hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the strains of Staying Alive – has spent 14 years with the BHF after joining from Help the Aged, now Age UK, in 2000.
During her tenure, McBride was credited with securing a ban on cigarette vending machines in 2010 and led a campaign in 2013 to make sure food manufacturers used the ‘traffic light’ food-labelling system.
She also helped the charity secure £110,000 from the Scottish government to teach life-saving skills in schools across Scotland.
The charity said that under McBride’s leadership in communications the BHF website now receives 8.6 million visits a year and has 390,000 'likes' and 'follows' in Facebook and Twitter.
The charity said it would recruit a director of engagement in the near future and that Nick Radmore, its current head of social marketing and brand, would take the role of interim programme director of marketing and communications for now.
Maura Gillespie, the current interim programme director for policy, would take over some of McBride’s role until a permanent director of policy was appointed, the charity said.
"I’ve had a wonderful time at the BHF, working with the greatest teams in the business," said McBride. "The fact that we get to help save lives and have fun has been such a privilege and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every day."