Feehan quits Six Nations and Lions after 16 years
John Feehan has quit as chief executive of rugby union's Six Nations and the British & Irish Lions after 16 years in the post.
Six Nations said the search for Feehan's replacement will commence shortly.
He has overseen unprecedented growth of the Six Nations Championship and has also presided over four Lions Tours, most recently to New Zealand last year.
Feehan said: "I feel it is time for a change. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute working in both roles however the timing is now right for me and I am ready to pursue other interests.
"I depart safe in the knowledge that both organisations are in a significantly better place than when I started, and indeed both have a very bright future ahead. I would like to acknowledge the fantastic people I have worked with over the years and look forward to watching rugby as a passionate supporter for many years to come."
Pat Whelan, Six Nations chairman, said: "During John's tenure, the Six Nations has evolved into the greatest annual international rugby competition and much of that is down to the fantastic work and commitment of John. The Championship is in a very strong position with viewing figures and attendances continuing to rise and the overall quality the best it has ever been."
The Six Nations now draws 125 million television viewers per year in the competing nations thanks in large part to free-to-air rights deals in the UK, Ireland and France, and is now shown in 180 countries worldwide. In addition, social media audiences exceed 1.6 million.
The major focus for Feehan's successor will be to find a long-term, lucrative title sponsor for the Six Nations, something that proved difficult in the Irishman's final years on office.
NatWest, a subsidiary of long-time partner Royal Bank of Scotland, gave its name to the 2018 edition.
RBS had been the main partner of the Six Nations since 2004, and was set to walk away after last year’s competition, but was convinced to return to the negotiating table after organisers were unable to attract a new long-term sponsor
Prior to the 2017 Six Nations, it emerged that a six-year deal worth £100 million ($140 million) was the target but, despite employing agency CAA Sports and holding talks with over 150 companies, the organisers had been unable to tie down a replacement for RBS.
The Lions will next tour in 2021, in South Africa.