Sir Nigel Rudd, the chairman of Heathrow, has announced he will depart the UK's biggest airport next September, after a decision on the thorny issue of airport expansion is expected to be made by the government.
A replacement has not yet been named, but "preparations are underway".
"I'm really proud to have played a role in re-establishing Heathrow as a national asset for the UK. I've seen first-hand just how much of an economic engine Heathrow is for all parts of our great trading nation," said Rudd, after seven years in the pilot seat.
"That's why it's so important that government lives up to its "open for business" mandate and expands Heathrow. We can keep Britain at the heart of the global economy and I will continue to actively make the case for a bigger and better Heathrow."
Heathrow is vying to be the first choice for expanding much needed airport capacity in the UK with the addition of a new runway.
The long-awaited Davies commission report on airport capacity chose Heathrow as the front runner, however the government has pushed a final decision on the matter - which had ben expected by the end of this year - into the long grass of next summer.
More than 50 of the most high profile business leaders yesterday put their names to a letter rounding on the government's decisions delay, telling David Cameron to get a grip.