Paul Walker, chief executive of Sage Group, is leaving the company after 26 years, 16 of them in the top spot.
In a statement this morning Sage confirmed Walker would be leaving "in due course". But first he will work with the board to find a replacement and "ensure a seamless transition".
The accountancy software provider has hired a firm of head hunters, the Times reports.
The paper said 52-year old Walker is keen to find new challenges before he gets too old.
Before taking over as CEO, Walker was financial director at the firm. His 16 year tenure has corresponded to the firm's rampant takeover drive. This has seen it grown from a Newcastle-based software firm targeting the SME accountancy market, to "business management software" firm, though still focusing on SMEs and still based in Newcastle. ®