NewsMediaWorks chief executive Mark Hollands has resigned from the organisation and will leave next Thursday.
No reason has been given for the abrupt departure, other than that Hollands - who is a published author - has "a number of personal interests in Australia and overseas" he wants to pursue.
Hollands joined NewsMediaWorks - the Australian group formed by the country's four largest publishers - four years ago and had previously run PANPA (Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association) which was later taken over by NewsMediaWorks (then The Newspaper Works).
Succeeding Tony Hale, he was briefed with launching cross-platform readership metric emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia), which went ahead in 2013 after earlier delays. He also led the rebranding of the organisation to reflect its multi-platform nature, and implementing the News Media Index which reports industry advertising revenue.
The group is looking for a replacement.
Chairman Michael Miller thanked Hollands "for his important contribution to NewsMediaWorks as well as the wider news media sector.
"The industry body will continue to focus on helping create operational efficiencies for the benefit of all publisher members."
A statement said the board look for a new chief execuitive to continue the organisation's work in areas such as industry co-operation.
Hollands thanked colleagues, "who continue to make an important and enthusiastic contribution to our industry.
"They share my love of this industry and respect for those who work so hard to deliver journalism to our nation every day."
He said the "time is right to move on, as I have a number of personal interests in Australia and overseas that I wish to pursue".
NewsMediaWorks was founded in 2006 by Fairfax Media, News Corp Australia, APN News & Media - which has since sold its Australian regional newspapers to News - and Seven West Media (West Australian Newspapers).