Robin Young, permanent secretary at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has announced that he is to leave the civil service at Easter next year.
At that point, Young will have completed almost seven years at the top of two government departments, with four years at the DTI, and three years previously at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The department will also by that stage have put in place major changes following the DTI review and the recent spending round.
He said: "It has been a privilege to head two important Government departments after a highly enjoyable civil service career of over 30 years. By Easter, the DTI will have completed the major transformation Patricia Hewitt and I began three years ago. The time will be right for a new permanent secretary to lead the transformed department."
Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt paid tribute to Young's contribution at the DTI. "I could not have asked for a better or more supportive permanent secretary over the last three years," she said. "He'll have a huge contribution to make whatever he decides to do next."