Paul Everitt, CEO of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is leaving to take up a new position outside the automotive sector at the end of January 2013.

In the interim, Mike Baunton, chairman of the SMMT Industry Forum, will act as chief executive.

SMMT president Nigel Stein said: “Paul has made a tremendous contribution to SMMT over the last five years. We are sorry to see him go. The appointments committee has already met and is determined to find the right person to guide the organisation through its next stages of development.”