Hytner took over this prestigious post from Sir Trevor Nunn in April 2003. He is credited with introducing many innovations to the theatre under his directorship. Most prominent of these were reduced price ticket seasons, which drew vast amounts of audiences to the previously less frequented Olivier auditorium.
His most notable directorial successes include Miss Saigon, Jerry Spring The Opera and The History Boys as well as current shows still playing after their transfer from The National Theatre, One Man, Two Guvnors and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Hytner said: "I have the most exciting and most fulfilling job in the English-speaking theatre. After 12 years it will be time to give someone else a turn to enjoy the company of my stupendous colleagues, who together make the National what it is,"
Executive director Nick Starr also announced his intentions to abandon his post at the theatre in 2014. By that time, he will have held this position for over a decade. Starr remarked "I want to make room for the next generation, and it's time for me to plough new furrows,"
Both will be sorely missed by colleagues and audiences alike.
Hytner's opening will be advertised as of next week, with his replacement scheduled to be announced by autumn 2013.
Book One Man Two Guvnors tickets at the Theatre Royal Haymarket now