James Ogle is stepping down as chief executive officer of clinical research firm INC Research as of Jan. 1.

He will be succeded by Chief Operating Officer Jamie Macdonald.

Ogle will remain involved with the Raleigh-based company as its non-executive chairman of the board. He currently is chairman.

The changes were announced Thursday.

Ogle has led INC for the past nine years.

Macdonald, who also is president of clinical development services at INC, joined the firm after INC acquired Kendle in 2011. He also at one time worked for Quintiles, which is based in RTP.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to take this opportunity to recognize Jim Ogle’s tremendous contributions to INC Research,” said David Burgstahler, president and partner of Avista Capital Partners and an INC Research Board member, in a statement.

“During his tenure, the Company grew from 225 employees to nearly 5,000 today across six continents, with customers including all of the top 10 biopharmaceutical companies worldwide.”

Avista Capital acquired INC in 2010 for $600 million.

INC is the world’s sixth largest clinical research organization in the world.

“I am proud of our accomplishments during my time at INC Research and the efforts of our many talented employees across the globe who are dedicated in their efforts every day to help our customers bring new life-saving and life-enhancing therapies to market,” Ogle, a former U.S. Army Lt. colonel, said. “With integration behind us and INC Research solidly positioned for the future as a top-tier CRO, now is the time for me to transition away from the day-to-day leadership of the company and into the role of chairman.”

Alistair Macdonald, president of clinical development services, will be the new COO.