Keith Jones, who has worked in magazine publishing for 33 years, told staff of his decision in an email today.
Mark Kelsey, currently CEO of RBI UK, will take over from Jones from 1 October and add the new post to his existing responsibilities.
Jones became chief executive of RBI in 2008. He was previously CEO of RBI UK and before joining parent company Reed Elsevier worked for IPC Media.
"After a difficult period of trading, RBI has a new direction and a new sense of purpose, and this feels like the right time to step down and allow Mark Kelsey and the RBI management team to get on with delivering on their exciting growth plans. I have worked with Mark for many years and I know we share the same belief in RBI's future success," says Jones in his email to staff.
As CEO of RBI UK and later global CEO of RBI, Jones oversaw the proposed sale of RBI UK and its magazine publishing business and its termination.
"I would like to thank Keith for his contributions to Reed Elsevier throughout his career; he has been a business leader in consumer and B2B publishing for Reed Elsevier, launching innovative services both in print and online and most recently leading Reed Business Information globally through a very challenging two years, and I wish him a long and happy retirement," says Erik Engstrom, CEO of Reed Elsevier, in the announcement.