Pickering was a key figure in the development of the Heineken Cup and European Shield, played a major role in the organisation of the Lions Tour to Australia in 2001 which was the first ever to make a profit, and was heavily involved last year in steering the 6 Nations Championship through the foot and mouth crisis.
"Over 6 years at the 'coal face' during Rugby's most turbulent times ever is enough for anyone, and it is time for a change." Pickering said.
Allan Hosie, just retired Chairman of the 6 Nations Committee commented, "Roger has made a major and valuable contribution to Northern Hemisphere Rugby during the game's difficult transition to professionalism. We thank him and wish him well".