Robin Evans, chief executive of the Canal and River Trust, has announced that he will leave the charity in May.
Evans spent 10 years as chief executive of the charity’s predecessor, British Waterways, and led its transfer from the public sector in July last year with a funding settlement worth £800m over 15 years.
"I want to pursue other interests and opportunities and, now the trust is firmly established, I feel it’s the right time for me to move on and a perfect time for the trust to have a new leader," Evans said in a statement.
Tony Hales, chair of the trust, said: "Robin told us in November that he intended to step down in May and we will be very sorry to lose him. He has served with great dedication and inspirational vision.
"His determination to see that vision realised in the foundation of the trust has transformed the long-term prospects for the waterways."