Sean Collidge, chairman and chief executive of developer Freeport, leaves company he founded.

Sean Collidge, the founder, chairman and chief executive of developer Freeport, has resigned from the company.

Freeport has not appointed a successor.

Collidge left the group on Friday and Mike Blackburn, senior independent director, has assumed responsibility for all board and operational matters with immediate effect.

A statement from the company said: "Mr Collidge has been in discussions with senior members of the board for some time with regard to the transition of management by way of succession planning and feels that now is the appropriate time to step down."

Freeport announced on 7 December that it had started the search for a new chairman.

In its interim results for the six months to the end of December 2005 the company made a pre-tax loss of £0.4m, compared with a profit of £0.7m in the previous period. Net asset value rose 1%.