Lawrence will step down from her current role on 14 April to become Secretary General of Ordnance Survey International focussing on the growth plans of Ordnance Survey internationally before leaving altogether.
Neil Ackroyd - currently deputy director general and director of operations –will replace her on an interim basis while an open recruitment process begins to appoint a permanent successor.
Lawrence is the longest serving DG since Major General Sir Henry James in 1875, and the fourth longest-serving in Ordnance Survey’s entire history, which spans 223 years. She was also the first woman ever to hold the post.
“I will always be proud to have led Ordnance Survey through such interesting times, from the emergence of digital geography as a business opportunity to its position today where our products underpin so much of everyone’s daily lives from maps in mobile devices through to underpinning much of the information management of the London Olympic Games,” she said.
“Most people do not realise they are often using ‘geography in disguise’ from Ordnance Survey to make their daily decisions, whether it be when they are obtaining an insurance quote or when they are organising their travel plans using their sat nav or mapping from Google or Microsoft."
“I have worked with an incredible group of people at Ordnance Survey who have turned this iconic organisation into a very profitable enterprise that is at the cutting edge of innovation while never forgetting the historic roots from which it came.”
See also: Interview: Vanessa Lawrence