Brian Kavanagh has announced he will be stepping down from his role as CEO of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) after 20 years, this September.
HRI, the commercial semi-state body which is responsible for the overall governance, development, promotion and, administration of thoroughbred racing in Ireland, will begin a recruitment campaign on Friday for a new chief executive.
HRI chairman Nicky Hartery praised Kavangh for his work over the last two decades.
"I would like to thank Brian Kavanagh for 20 years of incredible service and deep commitment to Horse Racing Ireland and to the industry in Ireland," said Hartery.
"Brian was the first CEO of Horse Racing Ireland when appointed in 2001, and during his time he has played a huge role in Irish racing and breeding, enabling it to become a leader on the global stage while domestically overseeing the growth of a vital rural-based industry.
"His knowledge and expertise, at home and abroad, will no doubt ensure that Brian will continue to play a significant part in the industry, and we wish him well."
Kavanagh has highlighted the importance of his work over the next few months with racing, like all other sports, going through a particularly difficult period.
"It has been a privilege to serve as chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland and to work under three different chairmen who each promoted a strategic vision for the Irish horse racing and breeding industries," said Kavanagh.
"It is a sector full of variety and of really talented people and I have nothing but good memories of the projects and people that I have dealt with on the way.
"I would like to pay particular tribute to the Board members and staff of Horse Racing Ireland, past and present, whose commitment and dedication to the improvement of the industry has been a constant during my time as chief executive.
"Last week was a good week for racing, but we cannot rest on our laurels and there is much work to do between now and September.
"While Brexit and Covid-19 are currently providing significant challenges, there are wonderful opportunities facing the sector also. Our horses and our people are our greatest strength."