Neil Portnow will step down as president and CEO of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Awards next year.
The organization announced Thursday that Portnow chose not to “seek an extension on his current contract,” which ends next year.
He has led the academy since 2002.
Portnow was criticized at the Grammys this year when he said women need to “step up” when asked about the lack of female winners backstage. Only two female performers won awards during the live telecast.
Portnow later said his words were taken out of context and he now understands the pain his “poor choice of words” has caused. The remarks were criticized by Pink, Sheryl Crow, Katy Perry, India Arie and others.
“When I had the honor of being selected to lead this great organization in 2002, I vowed that on my watch, for the first time in our history, we would have a thoughtful, well-planned, and collegial transition. With a little more than a year remaining on my current contract, I’ve decided that this is an appropriate time to deliver on that promise,” Portnow said in a statement.
According to The Washington Post, the academy said Portnow made the announcement at the company’s semi-annual Board of Trustees meeting last week. Over the next year he will continue to work on a transition plan with the organization.