Joe Webb, head of Independent News & Media's Irish operations, said yesterday that he has decided to leave INM after almost two decades.
Mr Webb, who has been one of the driving forces behind group chief executive Vincent Crowley's efforts to slash debt at the publisher of this newspaper, said he was going now that the process was almost complete and there was no longer the same need for as many top managers as when INM had several foreign operations.
"It's a very positive day and there is no animosity," Mr Webb said ahead of his departure at the end of the month.
"I've had a very positive 20 years."
The Ballyhaunis native joined INM around 19 years ago as a chartered accountant, working in the finance section before moving to the advertising section. He has been chief executive of Independent News & Media (Ireland) since 2009.
Looking back over his career with INM yesterday, he said the biggest satisfaction was "joining a group that was number one and leaving when we are a strengthened number one".
Mr Webb added that since his appointment in 2009 "much of my role has been to lead the right sizing and evolution of INM's operations on the island of Ireland. With INM's restructuring nearing completion and given the now reduced scale of the business, the time is right for me to depart INM".
INM's Vincent Crowley paid tribute to Mr Webb, saying: "Joe is a consummate professional and he departs with our best wishes for the future and much appreciation for his contribution to INM over many years."