InternetNZ group chief executive Jordan Carter says he will be leaving the organisation in June.
Public policy lead Andrew Cushen has been appointed interim CEO and will be taking over day-to-day operations in the coming weeks.
"It's a big job and after nine years I just wanted to take a pause and clear my head. It was just time to move on," Carter told the Herald.
He did not have a new role lined up.
"Previously I've hopped from job-to-job. This time I'm going to take a few weeks to think about things," Carter said. He would look at options in NZ and overseas.
InternetNZ administers the .nz domain, advocates on issues such as the digital divide, censorship and copyright, and offers various research and education grants. The non-profit funds its activities through wholesaling .nz domains (local web addresses) - a business that brought in just over $11 million last year.
Carter's time as CEO saw InternetNZ grappling with a number of major issues, including a heavy-handed copyright enforcement regime, which saw the internet account-holder in a flat or household responsible for any music or movie piracy by anyone under their roof. The short-lived measure was dropped after opposition from InternetNZ and others.
He also chaired the Christchurch Call conference in Paris in May 2019, in the wake of the mosque shootings.
And, last year, Carter also criticised government plans for a new internet filter, which he called unpractical on a technical level and a "pseudo solution to real social problems". The plans were ultimately dropped.
President Joy Liddicoat said Carter had her personal support, and that of the organisation's elected council - but that after 19 years, including nine as CEO, she accepted that Carter wanted a fresh challenge.
"Jordan has made an outstanding contribution to InternetNZ. After 19 years, including nine as chief executive, Jordan leaves with an extraordinary and impressive record of achievements both in New Zealand and on the global stage. Jordan has worked tirelessly to promote the core values of the Internet and to be a champion for .nz," she said.
"We are extremely grateful for his service and proud of his achievements. We will begin recruitment for a new chief executive shortly. In the meantime, we acknowledge Jordan's unique contribution and are delighted he will work with us to help ensure a smooth transition over the coming months."
Outside of InternetNZ, Carter has worked for Wellington law firm Wigley and Company. He was also number 40 on Labour's list at the 2011 election, just missing the cut-off.