Gemma Bodinetz is stepping down from her role as artistic director at Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres after 17 years.
During her time at the Playhouse, Bodinetz has overseen the building of the new Stirling Prize-winning Everyman Theatre and directed 24 productions.
The organisation faced challenges in 2018 when it was dropped from Arts Council England’s national portfolio after its repertory company project pushed the organisation to a financial "tipping point".
Bodinetz said of her departure: "These have been an intense, passionate and extraordinary 17 years and I have been privileged to work with so many wonderful people in the best city in the world.
"However, 17 years is a long time and every artistic organisation needs fresh thinking and new energy."
Bodinetz said that last year the theatres had produced a new vision and business plan "to create socially engaged, relevant theatre", however Covid-19 had hit before the vision could be bought to life.
She added: "The pandemic and world events, including the global response to the death of George Floyd, have afforded the industry an opportunity for self-reflection and I too have thought long and hard about my role and what I think the most exciting future for the theatres might be when we come through all of this.
"These are poignant and momentous times. After long and honest self-reflection I think now is the time for me to pass on the artistic leadership of the Everyman and Playhouse."
Bodinetz said she will not be leaving the theatres immediately as there is "still much to do through the enforced closure".
Chief executive at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Mark Da Vanzo said: "It’s a huge sadness that Gemma will be leaving us after such a creative and impactful tenure. Her energy and joy have been visible in all that she has done on and off our stages.
"I’d like to personally thank Gemma for her support and friendship as I have moved into the role of CEO, especially during the current challenging times resulting from Covid-19."
Da Vanzo added: "While I will miss her greatly – especially that she won’t be alongside us as we move into the next chapter with the new business plan she has been so instrumental in creating – we support and respect her decision as she passes the baton on over the coming months."