BOSTON — Larry Lucchino, who is stepping down as president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, says “the end of the year is a good time for this change.”

Lucchino, 69, was part of the ownership group that purchased the Red Sox in 2002. Boston won the World Series two years later, and added two more titles in 2007 and 2013.

“As far back as 2004, the year of our first world championship, I started to plan for the day when I would want to cut back a little,” he said in the statement released by the team Sunday. “I even inserted a clause to that effect in my contract.”

He said that Sam Kennedy, who has worked with him for 20 years, was his choice as a replacement.

“I have now been President/CEO of the Red Sox for 14 years,” Lucchino said. “I love the Red Sox, I love Fenway Park, and I love Boston. It’s my home. It’s never easy to leave a job you love, but I look forward to the next chapters.”

The Boston Herald first reported the move. Red Sox owner John Henry told the newspaper Lucchino is a “Hall of Fame” talent.

“We’ve won three world championships under his leadership and set the longest sellout streak in professional sports history,” Henry said. “His accomplishments are many and will have a lasting impact.”

The Red Sox have been exploring a succession plan from Lucchino for some time. With his contract expiring at the end of the year, the team finally decided the time was right for Lucchino’s everyday responsibilities to come to an end.

“I have been blessed to have outstanding partners, and I plan to continue working with John, Tom, Mike, Sam, and all of our partners in meeting the challenges that lie ahead for the Red Sox,” Lucchino wrote. “I am also deeply proud of our extraordinary front office. They work together harmoniously and effectively, and each member has my gratitude, admiration, and respect.”