Johnston Press — owner of The Scotsman, the i newspaper and the Yorkshire Post — said its chairman Ian Russell decided to step down due to an acute illness in his family and will cease to be a director from December 31, 2016.
Camilla Rhodes, currently senior independent director, will become interim chairman from January 1, 2017.
The company has started the process of identifying a replacement for Russell.
Johnston Press CEO Ashley Highfield said: “I’d like to thank Ian for his tireless work on behalf of Johnston Press, first as a non-executive director and, since 2009, as chairman.
“His guidance and advice have been invaluable to me and his board colleagues throughout that time and he will leave with our warmest best wishes.
“Camilla Rhodes has huge experience of both our company and our industry and I look forward to working with her in the coming months while we identify a permanent successor to Ian.”