Barbara G. Novick will relinquish her position as vice chairwoman of BlackRock and retire on Feb.1, but will remain a senior adviser.
Ms. Novick headed BlackRock's global client group and worked closely with institutional clients for 20 years, said Laurence D. "Larry" Fink, chairman, and CEO and Robert S. Kapito, president, in a joint memo to employees Wednesday.
Ms. Novick was appointed head of BlackRock's public policy and investment stewardship teams in 2009, and shifted her focus to Washington politics and government relations.
In February, Ms. Novick stepped back from the day-to-operations of the two teams she led but retained her team titles.
In April, Sandy Boss joined BlackRock as senior managing director and replaced Ms. Novick as global head of investment stewardship.
Two managing directors on the global public policy team recently were appointed co-heads of the team: Kathryn Fulton is head of U.S. public policy and Joanna Cound is head of Europe public policy, said Tara McDonnell, a spokeswoman, during a call.
BlackRock is searching for a global head of public policy to replace Ms. Novick, Ms. McDonnell said, adding that BlackRock has not named a new vice chairman.
Accolades for Ms. Novick's impact on BlackRock were profuse from Mr. Fink and Mr. Kapito in their memo to BlackRock staff.
"Barbara was not only one of the founders of BlackRock, she also was a founder of the mindset that has been driving our success for 33 years: Clients come first," Messrs. Fink and Kapito said.
"Barbara is a role model, a mentor and a friend to us and to so many of you ... if you want to see an example of someone who embodies the BlackRock principles, look to Barbara," the memo said.
BlackRock managed $7.8 trillion of as Sept. 30.