Greg Dyke will not seek re-election as Football Association chairman when his current term ends in June.
Dyke, appointed in 2013, had said he would stand for a further year.
However, he said on Thursday that opposition to proposed reforms from some FA councillors and a minority of board members had made him reconsider.
When he succeeded David Bernstein, Dyke, 68, said England should aim to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and win the World Cup in 2022.
And he believes football is in a better place financially, administratively and from a coaching standpoint than when he took over in 2013.
“In early January, I announced I would stand as chairman of the FA for a further year, although I wasn’t certain this was the right decision for either the FA or me,” he said in a statement.
Dyke said the majority of board members wanted “much-needed, significant reform” to the FA’s governance but added it would be “a fight” to get FA Council approval.
He said: “I had already decided that if no reform was possible I was going to leave anyway this summer, a position I had shared with a number of colleagues.
“What I now see is that even if we get the reform through, I am probably not the best person to pick up the pieces following the inevitable discord.”
Dyke, a former director general of the BBC, has pursued policies aiming at modernising the FA and increasing the number of English players in the Premier League.
He made headlines by making a throat-cutting gesture when England were drawn in the same 2014 World Cup group as Italy and Uruguay.
Earlier this month, Dyke – an outspoken critic of Fifa under Sepp Blatter – said “we should shoot ourselves” if England did not qualify from their group at Euro 2016.
“I will devote my time in the coming months to press for acceptance of the board’s much-needed, long overdue reform programme,” he said.