"Competition tsar" Graeme Samuel has sent an email to all his staff today advising that he intends to pursue "other interests" when his present term expires on 31 July.
The email from the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission follows extensive speculation that he would seek a new term in the role. The email today rules this out.
The Australian newspaper reports that the email said Samuel said it had always "been my wish and intent to pursue other interests" when his term expired.
He has informed the federal government of his decision some time ago, the email said.
ACCC's top man has served in the role for eight years. He said three years ago that he would want to pursue other interests at the end of the term.
"I have made several public comments over recent months concerning my retirement from the ACCC when my current term expires on 31 July 2011. However, in light of continuing speculation, I feel I owe it to you, my colleagues, to advise you directly of my intentions.
"Since the commencement of my current term of office in August 2008, it has always been my wish and intent to pursue other interests following the expiry of that term in July 2011. That remains my position and the federal government has long been aware of this. While I have no present plans for my professional career after my retirement from the ACCC, I intend to remain active in public and corporate life.
"I look forward to continuing to work with you as chairman of the ACCC over the next four months. I will do so with as much commitment as I have endeavoured to apply to this role over the past 7 1/2 years."