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British American Tobacco CEO Nicandro Durante will leave the tobacco giant on April 1, 2019, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company has "identified a lead candidate" to take on the role and plans to make an announcement "in due course."
BAT Chief Operating Officer Jack Bowles is regarded as the front-runner to take over, though chief marketing officer Andrew Gray is also rumored to have been a contender, Sky News reported.
BAT acquired U.S.-based tobacco company Reynolds American last year. Like its Big Tobacco competitors, BAT is trying to pivot toward nicotine alternatives such as e-cigarettes and, more recently, heat-not-burn tobacco products.
Shares of BAT fell 1 percent. They've slid 30 percent this year.