Mitchell Kapor, who founded Lotus Development Corp. and built it into the world's largest independent maker of personal computer software, resigned as chairman Thursday, the company said.
Kapor will remain as a director and consultant during the next year, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company said.
Jim P. Manzi, the company's president and chief executive, will succeed Kapor as chairman while keeping his existing titles.
Kapor released a statement saying: "This is a natural step in my personal growth and in the evolution of the company. . . . It's a good time for me to go on to explore other endeavors."
He added: "I have no plans to do anything which conflicts or competes with Lotus' best interest or with my responsibilities to the company."
Kapor founded Lotus in April, 1982, and served as president until 1984, when he was named chairman and Manzi became president and chief operating officer.