iiNet founder and chief executive Michael Malone has today resigned from his position, following a three-month sabbatical from the company.
Malone announced in November he would take up to six months off from the internet service provider, but at the time promised to return to oversee a ten-year growth plan.
Malone today said during his break it had become clear to him he wanted to move away from 20 years of providing 24x7 commitment, energy and enthusiam to iiNet.
"It's never an easy time to say goodbye, but this is an ideal time to leave," he told shareholders. "iiNet is in the best financial shape it has ever been and has a strong growth plan for future success."
He said during a conference call he'd had an amazing 20 years, but after the three-month break did not see himself returning to a full-time role as CEO. He said he had no concrete plans for his next role, but expected to continue holidays for the next couple of weeks.
iiNet chairman Michael Smith said the board had no idea how Malone had managed to sustain his passion for the company over such a long period.
"Michael is a legend and a telecommunications visionary; he has been the foundation of iiNet's success. We are committed to ensuring his legacy and story lives on."
iiNet finance chief David Buckingham has been acting in the CEO position since Malone stepped aside, and will continue to do so while a search is conducted to find a replacement.
Buckingham is in line for permanent promotion to the role, the ISP hinted. Smith said the board would be "delighted" should Buckingham be appointed as the new CEO.
Malone is the second executive iiNet has lost in as many months.
In January chief technology officer John Lindsay announced his resignation from the company. Lindsay joined iiNet in 2012 when the ISP acquired his former employer Internode.