Dr Richardson has been in the role for nine “rewarding years”. Prior to his arrival at AgResearch in 2010, Dr Richardson spent 17 years with Scion, including five as its chief executive.
AgResearch chairman Dr Paul Reynolds said Dr Richardson had made a huge contribution to AgResearch and the New Zealand science sector.
“He has led the organisation through some challenging times and positioned it to make a strong and enduring contribution to the future of the New Zealand pastoral sector.”
AgResearch Finance and Business Performance Director Tony Hickmott will become AgResearch’s acting chief executive following Dr Richardson’s departure while the board undertake a permanent recruitment process.
Dr Richardson said: “My decision to step away was made slightly easier by the calibre of the AgResearch Executive Team now in place and the momentum the organisation has achieved. I look forward to watching AgResearch continue to provide strong leadership and meet the challenges ahead for the land-based science sector.”