Napier will step down in Spring 2007 and move to Imperial Tobacco Group as non-executive chairman.

Housebuilder Taylor Woodrow has announced that its chief executive Iain Napier is to step down after five years.

Napier will be retiring in the Spring of 2007 to take up the position of non-executive chairman of Imperial Tobacco Group, where he is already joint vice chairman.

Taylor Woodrow chairman Norman Askew said: "Over what will be five years since Iain joined as chief executive in February 2002, he has been responsible for steering Taylor Woodrow successfully through a period of significant change and considerable growth, establishing the group's position as one of the UK's leading homebuilders with a portfolio of successful homes businesses in the UK, North America and Spain."

Askew said that the Taylor Woodrow board had already started its search for a successor.

Napier was formerly chief executive of Bass Brewers and an executive director of Six Continents. He later joined the executive management committee of Interbrew SA.