Belinda Stronach, daughter of Magna International Inc. founder Frank Stronach, is stepping down as executive vice chair and board member the end of the year.
Magna gave no reason for the departure, which comes during a strategic review of the composition of the board following investor complaints about the company's corporate governance.
“The board wishes to express our sincere and deep appreciation to Belinda for the valuable contribution she has made to Magna over many years, and we wish Belinda every success in the future,” lead director Michael Harris said in a statement.
Stronach, 44, had been Magna CEO from 2000 to 2004, when she was elected to Canada's Parliament. She rejoined the Magna leadership in April 2007 after deciding not to seek re-election to parliament. She then worked with Magna's co-CEOs Siegfried Wolf and Don Walker -- even though she and Walker divorced in 1995. They had two children together.
Wolf recently left the company and Walker is now the sole CEO.
Frank Stronach, 78, founded the auto parts supplier in 1969, when his tool and die company, Multimatic Investments Ltd. merged with Magna Electronics Corp., and subsequently became Magna International. Last fall Magna bought out Stronach's voting control of the company for $976 million, but he continues as chairman of the board.
Many shareholders had been unhappy with Stronach's side projects, like the now-bankrupt Magna Entertainment horse racing venture, a failed attempt to buy Chrysler and a deal that fell through at the last minute to take over the European operations of General Motors Co.
Following Stronach's buyout, Magna said it would conduct a strategic review of the board.
The company said on Tuesday the review was ongoing and that it had retained Russell Reynolds Associates "to assist in its search for potential future board members, including a director to fill the vacancy created by Ms. Stronach's resignation."
The Stronach Trust -- controlled by Frank Stronach, his wife, son Andrew, and Belinda -- is still Magna's largest shareholder, with a stake of about 6.5 percent. Belinda Stronach is also heavily involved in philanthropic work through the Belinda Stronach Foundation.
Magna International, which is based in suburban Toronto, ranks No. 5 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with $17.4 billion in sales to automakers in 2009.
Reuters contributed to this report