Ralf Speth will step down as CEO of Jaguar Land Rover in September after leading the company for the past decade.

He won't be cutting all ties with the company as he's set to stay on as non-executive vice chairman. He will also remain on the board of JLR parent company Tata Sons.

Speth chose not to renew his current contract which ends in September. In a statement released Thursday, he said he was “looking forward to new and exciting challenges.”

Ralf Speth

Ralf Speth

News of his retirement came just one day before the January 31 deadline for the United Kingdom's split from the European Union, the so-called Brexit, which Speth has been a vocal critic of. He's also leaving the company at a time of slowing sales, particularly in China. JLR posted sales of 557,706 units in 2019, which was a 6-percent decline on the previous year.

Nevertheless, Speth has prepared JLR for the new decade as the company is on the verge of introducing a modular platform capable of battery-electric powertrains and establishing a new plant that will be responsible for EVs and EV components. The first model on the new platform will be a redesigned Jaguar XJ due later this year.

A replacement for Speth will be named at a later date.