Sean Riddell is stepping down as chief executive of EMIS Group.

The company’s chief administrative officer, Chris Spencer, will become interim chief executive on 21 March when Riddell retires.

Riddell has been with EMIS for 23 years and is retiring to focus on family commitments.

He will remain on the board as a non-executive director to “ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities and retention of his sector experience”, an EMIS statement said.

Riddell said he was enormously proud of how EMIS had grown and evolved since joining the company in 1989.

“After 23 years with the business I have decided that it is right for me to step back from my full-time role and let others take the business to the next level,” he said.

“The future development of EMIS will be led by a talented executive management team, which has been expanded and strengthened in recent years.

“[Spencer] has long been a pivotal member of this leadership team, and a major contributor at both a strategic and operational level. I have no doubt of EMIS’s continued success under his stewardship.”

Spencer has been a member of EMIS’s senior management strategy forum since 1999 and helped the company during its management buyout and flotation as well as recent contract wins in Scotland and Wales.

EMIS chairman Mike O’Leary said Riddell had made an immense contribution to EMIS’s success over more than two decades.

The company’s board is starting a recruitment process to replace Riddell and considering both external and internal candidates.

EMIS has also appointed Andy McKeon as a new non-executive director. McKeon has had a long career with the Department of Health and is a non-executive director of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

EMIS will announce its final results for the year ended 31 December 2012 on 21 March 2013.