Tom Curley, president and CEO of The Associated Press since 2003, is to step down this year.
Curley, who turns 64 this year, charted the news agency's move into the digital space, from overseeing the creation of a digital database of all AP content to assuring its availability on every platform in every format.
“Tom Curley was the perfect leader to guide AP through the roughest times the media industry has ever seen,” said William Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP board of directors and chairman of MediaNews Group Inc.
“He was a visionary who understood the need for AP to quickly adapt to new digital times, a transformative leader who created innovative new business opportunities for our industry and an indefatigable newsman who made sure AP remained the definitive trusted source for breaking news.”
The AP board of directors has started the search for his successor.
Curley said: "I told the board some time ago when I would be retiring, but it is hard to think about leaving this special organisation.
"There is this passion, this commitment to journalism in its purest form that makes it unique on the planet. Nowhere else does anyone have such a direct opportunity to commit journalism and have as much impact as they do here. I got to be a part of it, and play a role in its mission to break news first from around the world. I’ve been honored to work for AP."
Curley was only the 12th person to lead The Associated Press since its founding 166 years ago when he came to AP from his position as president and publisher of USA Today.