Highland Council chief executive Steve Barron has announced he is to retire after 10 years with the local authority - five of them in the top job.
He has given six months’ notice of his retiral, in advance of the required three months’ notice, and will depart on November 15.
Educated at Lochardil Primary School and Inverness Royal Academy, and with a background in construction and facilities management, Mr Barron has worked largely in the Highlands.
He joined the council as director of housing and property in 2008, after eight years as managing director of Robertsons Facilities Management, Inverness.
He previously worked in the health service in Lothin and the Highlands.
He said: “My time as chief executive has seen the biggest challenges in decades for local authorities.
"It has been a time of enormous change for the Highland Council.
"There has been an imperative like no other to transform the council and we have redesigned services while significantly reducing costs.
"This has been a stimulating and rewarding time and I have been fortunate to be very well supported throughout by a talented and innovative team.
“It has been a real privilege to serve The Highland Council over this period.
"That said, there remain many opportunities and challenges over the next six months and I will continue to play my part in addressing these, while doing everything I can to ensure a smooth transition. So it will be business as usual for me until November and then I intend to enjoy family time and a few more golf courses and hills.”
Council leader Margaret Davidson said: “While I am very sad to hear this news, I am very grateful to Steve for allowing us time to find the right replacement for this key role and to enable a smooth transition.
"Steve is an outstanding chief executive who has led the council through an extremely challenging few years, and he will be a difficult pair of shoes to fill. I wish him the very best for his future plans.”