Bernard Lapasset will not seek re-election as chairman of World Rugby in May so that he can focus his attention on spearheading Paris' bid for the 2024 Olympics.
Lapasset, first elected to head the governing body in 2007, informed colleagues at a World Rugby executive committee meeting in Dublin of his decision to stand down.
"I feel this is the right time for me to complete my current term and pass on the ball to one of my superb colleagues," the 68-year-old said.
"Rugby has never been healthier and I am so proud of what we have achieved in growing the game around the globe."
Lapasset was head of the organising committee for the 2007 World Cup in France before being elected for his first term as chairman of what was then known as the International Rugby Board.
He was re-elected in 2011 and is credited with overseeing record participation in the sport and commercial growth during his two terms in office.
Lapasset is co-chairman of the committee behind Paris' latest bid to host the Olympics. Budapest, Los Angeles and Rome are also in the running.
The decision on the 2024 hosts will be made in September 2017.
"We are now entering into the heart of the campaign and nothing would give me greater pleasure than bringing the Games back to Paris for a real centenary celebration of Olympism in 2024," Lapasset added.