Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron has announced his intention to retire at the end of the current season.
Baron, 64, will officially stand down at the RFU's annual general meeting in July 2010 after nearly 12 years in the position.
During that time, Baron has overseen a financial and commercial transformation of the RFU and played a leading role in bringing the 2015 Rugby World Cup tournament to England.
Baron said: "I will be entering my 65th year next year and I felt it was the right time to set my retirement date to enable an orderly transition to my successor.
"It will enable him or her a full year in office prior to a change in the chairmanship of the RFU in 2011 and the World Cup in New Zealand later that year, together with ensuring senior management continuity through a period of change.
"July 2010 also provides a natural break point for me and not just because it is the end of the season.
"All elements of the South Stand re-development project will have been completed by then and having secured the World Cup for England in 2015, the establishment of the 2015 operating company will need to commence in earnest in the following season.
"Clearly my successor should lead on this and have a blank sheet of paper to work with.
"I am pleased I will be passing on to my successor a financially strong union with a strong management team implementing a clear eight-year strategic plan."
The RFU has grown into an organisation worth £150million and is now operating at an annual profit of £9million, compared to losses of £10million when Baron took over in 1998.
RFU president John Owen said: "The advent of professionalism had the potential to blow the game off course but Francis has always kept a firm hand on the tiller and the position that rugby in England finds itself today is entirely thanks to his unstinting hard work and focus."
The construction of the new South Stand expanded Twickenham's capacity to 82,000 while the full hotel, lifestyle and conferencing complex will be completed in December.
The last major achievement of Baron's tenure was to secure hosting rights for the 2015 Rugby World Cup despite the global financial difficulties in place at the time.