Jane Furze is to step down as literature festival director for the Cheltenham Literature Festival after four years in the post.
A statement from the board of Cheltenham Festivals said it was announcing the news “sadly”.
Furze said she was leaving to “allow myself some time out”. She will step down from the post on 30th September, just ahead of this year's festival, which takes place from 2nd to 11th October.
The statement from the board said that she had made a “significant contribution” to the development of the festival.
“Jane will be greatly missed by us all but she leaves having delivered one of the best festival line-ups in our history,” said the statement. “The board extends its grateful thanks for Jane’s commitment, advocacy and dedication; in particular during 2014 when she took on the temporary role of acting c.e.o. The board wishes her the very best for the future.”
Chair of trustees Peter Bond added: “Jane leaves us with a world class, dynamic literature festival that will continue to develop its unique breadth and range to captivate existing and new audiences.”
Furze said: “I am extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the last few years and of the status the literature festival holds in both the national and international cultural calendar.
“I have taken the personal decision to allow myself some time out and a short sabbatical and am preparing for a new challenge.
“My time at Cheltenham Festivals has been enormously enjoyable and rewarding. I would like to thank my colleagues, the board, and our funding partners for making Cheltenham Festivals such an incredible place to work.
“Particular thanks goes to Baroness Gail Rebuck, chair of the literature festival with whom it has been both a privilege and a pleasure to work."
The festival is currently going through a recruitment process, said a spokesman. In the interim, Nicola Tuxworth, head of programming, and the c.e.o., Louise Emerson, "will ensure that there is a smooth transition between the 2015 The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival and the 2016 The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival".