The Ofcom Board today announced that Ed Richards will stand down as Chief Executive at the end of December 2014.
He will continue to lead on all operational, financial, economic, competition and policy matters until that date.
Patricia Hodgson, Ofcom Chairman, said: "Ed has been an outstanding Chief Executive. Under his leadership, Ofcom has helped to deliver superfast broadband, 4G, lower prices, innovation, competition, and sustainable public service broadcasting in the UK.
"He leaves an impressive legacy. On behalf of the Board I would like to thank him for his enormous contribution."
Ed Richards said: "It has been a privilege to lead Ofcom during such an exciting and dynamic period in the evolution of the UK's communications sector.
"It is never easy leaving a job that you enjoy greatly but I have always felt that once I had completed eight years as Chief Executive this would be the right time to move on."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1.Ed joined the Ofcom Board in March 2003. In July 2005, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and became Chief Executive in October 2006.
2.The executive search process to appoint a replacement is under way, led by Zygos Partnership. The post will shortly be advertised nationally.
3.The Chief Executive of Ofcom is a public appointment made by the Ofcom Board, involving an independent assessor and subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
4.Ofcom seeks to complete the recruitment process early in 2015.
5.Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications, wireless communications and postal services.