Playboy chief executive Christie Hefner will step down in January, ending 50 years of family executive leadership at the adult entertainment and men's lifestyle media company.
Ms Hefner, 56, joined the magazine shortly out of college and took over as chairman and chief executive in 1988 from her father Hugh Hefner, whose signature smoking jacket and parties at the Playboy mansion have remained hallmarks of the brand.
Mr Hefner will remain as the company's chief creative officer, a role he has held since stepping down as chief executive.
Shares of Playboy surged more than 14 per cent on the news yesterday.
Ms Hefner took over the company during a time of deep financial distress, and is set to leave as its flagship magazine circulation suffers amid a race to offer its content on other platforms. Circulation of the US edition has fallen to 2.6m copies from a 10-year average of about 3m as the global economic crisis and competitive.