Skellerup managing director Donald Stewart has resigned after more than 30 years with the company.
He joined Skellerup in 1979 and became managing director in 1992.
Chairman Sir Selwyn Cushing says Mr Stewart has overseen the company's transformation from a collection of manufacturing businesses, to an international innovator with operations in New Zealand, Australia, China, Britain and Italy.
Mr Stewart also endured some tough times. In 2007 he oversaw a major restructuring of the business in the wake of a strong New Zealand dollar and slow trading conditions.
Two months ago, Mr Stewart said he believed the worst of the recession was over and things were now picking up.
He said he expected the company to make a full-year after tax profit of up to $8.5 million.
Mr Stewart will remain in his role until the end of June and will stay with the company while the reins are handed over. The search for a replacement is under way.
Skellerup shares were unchanged at 63 cents at the close of trade on Friday.