Charles Hayes, CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and a champion of economic development for more than two decades, confirmed on Monday that he is retiring. A search committee is being formed to find his replacement.

Hayes’ decision to step down was first reported by The Triangle Business Journal on March 24.

The RTRP formally announced that Hayes would leave the job as of June 30. He has served as CEO since 1996.

“The impact and achievements of RTRP have been realized through the intelligent teamwork and true dedication of its staff and it has been my privilege to work alongside them for 20 years,” Hayes said in the announcement.

“As the Triangle region has grown, and continues to grow, we must refresh our vision, strategy, and course under a new leader to ensure that our region will continue to attract, retain and cultivate strong business and economic growth.”

Before leaving, Hayes plans to present a new strategic plan for the organization. It is due before Hayes’ retirement.

“We have been honored to have Charles Hayes at the helm of RTRP for the past 20 years,” said Gary Joyner, chairman of the RTRP board, in a statement. “During his tenure, the RTRP has achieved significant national recognition for its work on behalf of the many regions that comprise the Research Triangle. Charles has shaped the pathway that will ensure a promising future for RTRP.”

Back on March 24, Hayes told TBJ’s Lauren Ohnesorge: “It’s been a heck of a ride. “I’ll tell you, I’m 70 years old, Lord willing, in November, and it’s time for me to do something else.”

Also on June 3o, real estate developer John Kane will take over as board chair of the partnership.