Birmingham businessman and personality John James is pulling back from the public spotlight.
Chairman of the Institute of Directors in the West Midlands since 2005, he is to step down to concentrate on public sector and voluntary roles.
He is also resigning from his post as chairman of South Birmingham College, which he has held for ten years, and is retiring as a consultant to the Birmingham office of law firm Shoosmiths.
The 62-year-old former lawyer will be continuing as a non-executive director of Intandem Films and as a consultant to Steel Plate & Sections. He said yesterday he had recently taken on two new roles which had led him to re-evaluate his commitments.
He has been appointed to the board of Solihull Care Trust led by new chairman Frank Mills, formerly regional director of BT, and has also joined the main board of Sport England in the Midlands.
He also intends to devote more time to his work as chairman of the Get-a-Head charity which raises funds for patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with head and neck cancer.
Of the IoD, he stated: "I have taken the decision to step aside having achieved much of what I set out to do in raising the profile of the organisation in the West Midlands and confirming its place at the 'top table' of business organisations shaping the commercial development and growth of the region.
"The IoD is well positioned as the recognised voice of the independent director in the region and it has a strong profile. I leave the chairman’s role after an exciting 18 months and am now looking forward to concentrate on making a meaningful contribution to my new posts in the voluntary and public sectors."
He effectively departs six months early – the term is two years. IoD regional director John Phillips paid tribute to the work of Mr James.
"JJ, as everyone knows him, has led us through a difficult period which saw the untimely death of former chairman Bob Michaelson.
"John has given the IoD a higher profile in regional government and has been a staunch supporter of the long drawn out plans to regenerate New Street, start work on the much-needed runway extension at Birmingham International Airport and the need for far greater investment in and commitment to the co-ordinated infrastructure development of road, rail and air across the West Midlands.
"We are sorry to see him go. He will be very much missed."
Vice chairman is Beverley Neilsen, but Mr Phillips said there was no automatic succession. "We are entering a process and will be announcing a successor hopefully fairly quickly."