Liverpool Vision, the city's economic development company, has begun the search for a new chief executive after Jim Gill decided to retire.
The decision puts a line under a protracted departure from the agency that Gill has led since 2001. Gill initially handed in his notice back in October 2007 as Vision prepared to drop its official urban regeneration company status and become an economic development company with an altered remit. Gill did not apply for the chief exec's role in the new-look Vision and the post was offered to Michael King, head of Jersey's economic development unit. King later declined to take up the position and Gill was talked into a u-turn to head the agency in its new guise, merging with Liverpool Land Development Company and Business Liverpool, from April 2008. Gill said at the time he doubted he would still be there in 12 months' time.
In a statement issued today, Gill, 61, said: "He said: "I had always planned to retire at 60 and now that Liverpool Vision is well established I have decided it is time to go.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Liverpool through a period of rapid and positive change.
"There are new challenges and opportunities ahead for Liverpool and I leave my role in a very important year, when the city will be exhibiting at the World Expo in Shanghai. I'm sure Liverpool's presence will be a big success and have a positive long-term impact on its fortunes.
"Liverpool has a determination to become an even more vibrant and dynamic international city and I know Liverpool Vision will be in the vanguard of ensuring this happens."
The national search for the £150,000-a-year role began with an advert in The Sunday Times yesterday. The company leads on economic and physical development and business and enterprise support in Liverpool and is designed to accelerate the city's growth and build a sustainable economy. Vision said Gill's replacement will be a strong leader from either the commercial or public sectors with a track record of outstanding delivery.
Mike Parker, chairman of Liverpool Vision, said: "Jim Gill has been recognised at the highest levels for his work in regeneration and his name and reputation have resonance beyond the Liverpool city region."
Prior to joining Vision, Gill was a director of English Partnerships and before that director at Amec. Gill was awarded the OBE for services to regeneration in 2006.
Recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson is advising Liverpool Vision.