Telstra's controversial boss, Sol Trujillo, has hung up on the telecommunications giant.
Ending months of mounting speculation about his tenure, Mr Trujillo bows out after less than four years as Telstra's chief executive, a period which saw some of the most controversial bust ups with governments and regulators in Australia's corporate history.
Mr Trujillo will leave on June 30 to return home to the United States.
Telstra's board said it expected to make an appointment by June 30.
The company's chairman, Donald McGauchie, said now was a ''suitable time for a transition to a new CEO'' and the board was well-prepared for succession planning.
Despite his run ins with governments and regulators, Mr McGauchie said Mr Trujillo's leadership at Telstra would be ''considered a pivotal and critical period'' in the company's history.
The American leaves a year before the completion of his five-year ''transformation'' plan.
Mr Trujillo said he would work with the board and senior management to ensure a smooth transition.
The Wyoming-born native was hired for one of corporate Australia's most public jobs by Mr McGauchie four years ago to replace Ziggy Switkowski.
Mr Trujillo was brought in as a change agent for the lumbering, half-privatised business trying to find its way through a technology revolution.
That was just a year before the Howard Government planned the final selldown of its majority stake in Telstra dubbed T3.
The appointment of a replacement for Mr Trujillo, who began at Telstra in July 2005, could offer the company its only chance of re-entering the tender to build a $10 billion-plus a national high-speed broadband network in Australia.
The Federal Government excluded Telstra from the bidding process in December after its proposal failed to meet basic requirements.
The company has said the search will consider both internal and external candidates.
Investors have been seeking clarity on succession for Mr Trujillo and the risks to Telstra's longer term earnings from the growing likelihood of the Government awarding a competitor the right to build a national broadband network.