Waikato incubator Soda has started the process of replacing chief executive Graham Smith, who's spent a short time in the role after replacing Soda's founder and former CEO Cheryl Reynolds.
Reynolds resigned at the end of 2013 to take up a new role as chief executive of the Momentum Foundation, which aims to raise funds for large projects in the Waikato region.
Smith will leave Soda in July to become CEO at Federated Farmers.
"The role of a lifetime arose, which meant I had to make a very difficult decision to step down,” says Smith. “The reality is that incubation is critical for both the regional and national economy and I believe in what Soda Inc is doing, particularly due to the quality of its staff."
Soda's board has started a process to replace Smith, along with processes to make sure Soda's growth plans aren't disrupted, says chair Julian Elder.
Smith will continue working with Soda when there's opportunity, it says, adding he'll still be spending considerable time in the Waikato.