ENTERPRISE Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan is to retire in November after 10 years at the helm.
Mr Ryan, who turns 60 this year, took up his post in 2003 when exports by Enterprise Ireland-backed firms were €10.2bn.
With the exception of 2009, exports have increased each year since, reaching €16.2bn in 2012.
Enterprise Ireland chairman Hugh Cooney said the board had started the process of finding a new chief executive.
Mr Ryan said he would like to "play a role" in the private sector.
"Ten years ago, it could not have been imagined Irish firms would export €16bn of goods," he said.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said: "Frank Ryan has always supported his staff, showing their qualities and leading them in the best way possible."