THE Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey is to step down.

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB has been the Southampton-based organisation's longest serving chief in more than a century.

After 14 years as Director General and Chief Executive, she will stand down on April 14 to concentrate on the organisation's global growth plans.

Neil Ackroyd, currently Deputy Director General and Director of Operations, will temporarily replace her until a permanent successor is appointed.

Dr. Lawrence said: “I will always be proud to have led Ordnance Survey through such interesting times, from the emergence of digital geography as a business opportunity to its position today where our products underpin so much of everyone's daily lives from maps in mobile devices through to underpinning much of the information management of the London Olympic Games.

“Most people do not realise they are often using 'geography in disguise' from Ordnance Survey to make their daily decisions, whether it be when they are obtaining an insurance quote or when they are organising their travel plans using their Sat Nav or mapping from Google or Microsoft.

“I have worked with an incredible group of people at Ordnance Survey who have turned this iconic organisation into a very profitable enterprise that is at the cutting edge of innovation while never forgetting the historic roots from which it came.”

The firm previously had its headquarter at the William Roy Building in Maybush, but it moved to new offices in Adanac Park on the outskirts of the city in 2012.