Dame Jackie Daniel, chief executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), has made the "personal decision" to step down.
The UHMBT, which runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow and the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, announced today that Dame Jackie will leave the post at the end of March.
Dame Jackie said: “After a privileged five and a half years leading the trust, I feel now is the right time.
"In terms of my personal future plans, I hope to continue to support the NHS and pursue a number of other interests."
The news follows five years in charge, during which Dame Jackie led Furness General Hospital out of special measures to achieve an overall rating of 'good' from national watchdog the Care Quality Commission.
She added: "This job has been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding of my career. The improvements we have made together in quality and patient safety are impressive, and the staff; governors and partners should feel very proud.
"I have been well supported over the years by the most talented and committed individuals and teams and I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to you all.
"The work to date and the plans for the future will continue. I look forward to seeing a future CQC rating of ‘outstanding’ and an Accountable Care System in the Bay, which will provide a legacy of sustainable care for the next generation.
"We will now begin the process of the appointment of my successor and I will keep our staff and partners updated."
Dame Jackie recently received a damehood in the Queen's New Year's Honours list for services to healthcare.