Cardiff Blues can confirm Peter Thomas will stand down as chairman following more than 20 years in the role at Cardiff Arms Park.
The 75-year-old, who played for Cardiff RFC in the 1960s before coming a patron and then chairman, at the turn of professionalism, will remain on the board of directors and write off all of his debts.
Thomas will also take up a new role as life president of the region.
He said: “It has been an honour to serve as chairman of Cardiff RFC and Cardiff Blues since the advent of regional rugby, but I feel this is the right time to take a step back.
“I will remain on the board of directors and look forward to supporting the new chairman, whoever that may be.
“I am confident in the plans in place and look forward to the region building on the success of winning the European Challenge Cup.”
Thomas will remain at the helm for a transitional 12-month period while his successor and three non-executive directors are appointed.
Cardiff Blues chief executive Richard Holland has led the tributes to Thomas for his unwavering support and passion for Cardiff Rugby.
He said: “The club and region will forever be indebted to Peter Thomas for his contribution.
“It has not just been a financial one. He has worked tirelessly and has only ever had the best interests of rugby at heart.
“He has navigated through good times and tough and done so with dignity, respect and aplomb.
“What he has achieved and given will forever be recognised by the region. His contribution, not just to rugby at the Arms Park, but Welsh rugby has been enormous.
“He is one of Wales' great rugby men. To have supported the game in Wales to the extent he has over the years is a monumental effort.
“He will continue to be involved as a board member and life president here at Cardiff Blues
“We will be recognising his contribution, not just with a life presidency, but in other ways as well.”