Mark Weldon will resign as NZX chief executive in the first half of 2012 after close to 10 years in the job.
Chairman Andrew Harmos said the NZX had thrived under Weldon's leadership, turning around a loss and leaving it in good shape for his successor.
Weldon said he was privileged to lead NZX, but it was the right time to leave.
He took a leave of absence after the February 22 earthquake in Canterbury to lead the government's Christchurch appeal.
Weldon, who holds BCom, BA, and MCom (Hons) degrees from the University of Auckland and a Juris Doctor degree and a diploma in International Law (Hons) from Columbia University, took up the role in 2002.
He previously worked at New York law firm Skadden, Arps, Slade, Meagher & Flom and McKinsey & Co.