After joining Hibs from Motherwell in 2014, Dempster oversaw promotion back to the Premiership and an historic Scottish Cup victory in 2016, but she says now, with the Hibees fourth in the SPFL Premiership, is the right time to move on and supporters should be “optimistic” for the future.
Chairman Ron Gordon also paid tribute to the out-going boss in the club’s confirmation statement after news broke earlier this afternoon.
Dempster explained: “I think it is genuinely the right time, both for the club and for me, to move on to a new chapter. It has been an intense and fulfilling time of my life.
"I have grown to love the club and the Hibernian family, but the club is in good hands and has an exciting future ahead of it.
"I wanted to make sure Ron settled in following the transaction, and I think we have achieved that. I’ve enjoyed working with him and I have learned a lot in the process.
"Supporters should be optimistic and excited about Ron’s plans for the club’s future, and I know they will continue to support the club in the magnificent fashion that they have done during my time, especially during recent months when they absolutely stepped up when we most needed them.”
Dempster took over shortly after the club had been relegated to the SPFL Championship, leaving Motherwell in the top flight and chairman Ron Gordon has paid tribute to the work put in since, but he conceded disappointment in the decision.
He said: “I would have liked Leeann to stay. She has done a terrific job throughout her time at the club and I know how highly regarded she is by every supporter and within football. She has explained that she believes it is the right time for her and for the club - that she is ready to pursue a new and different challenge, and that she wants to spend more time with her family.
“She has obviously thought long and hard about this and we now have to accept and respect her view. I am happy to say she will work with us to ensure a smooth transition as we decide how to best move forward and thank her for her continued commitment to the club. She has definitely left her mark at Hibernian, and everyone at Hibs should be very grateful to her, I know I am, and all of us wish her every success.
"I am forever grateful - she will most certainly be missed!”
Ms Dempster added: “The club had been relegated when I joined, and I was determined – with the help of a terrific group of people – to rebuild and restore the club to make its supporters proud on and off the pitch. The Cup win was the highlight, of course, but there have been many fantastic moments.“I thank every one of them for making this job such an enjoyable one. Now I look forward to the excitement of taking on a new challenge.”