CHICAGO (Reuters) - CBOE Holdings Inc (CBOE.O) Chairman Bill Brodsky will step down after two decades leading the board when the exchange operator closes a planned $3.2 billion deal for Bats Global Markets Inc BATS.Z, CBOE said on Thursday.
Chief Executive Ed Tilly will replace him as chairman.
Brodsky's departure marks the end of an era for CBOE, which he transformed from a member-owned exchange into a for-profit company best known as the home of Wall Street's favorite fear index, known as the VIX.
A company spokeswoman said Brodsky, 72, had not made plans to have any formal role with the company once he quits the board. He was CBOE's chairman and chief executive from 1997 to 2013 and remained chairman after Tilly, 53, took over as CEO in 2013.
"We owe Bill an incredible debt of gratitude," Tilly said in a statement, noting that Brodsky had served as CBOE's chairman for nearly half of the company's history.
CBOE became dominant in the options industry under Brodsky as he fought off rivals to its exclusive options on benchmarks - such as the Standard & Poor's 500 Index - and to the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX - the well-known gauge of investor anxiety.
In 2010, Brodsky, a former Chicago Mercantile Exchange boss, oversaw CBOE's initial public offering. After quitting the board, he will join an investment firm run by his son, according to CBOE.
Two other longtime CBOE directors, Susan Phillips and R. Eden Martin, are also stepping down to make room for three incoming directors from Bats' board.
CBOE has said it expects its Bats acquisition to close in the first half of next year.
Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Andrew Hay