Former Glasgow and Scotland captain Petrie took up the Edinburgh post in July 2015 after working in the energy business following his rugby retirement in 2007. He has overseen an eventful time at the capital pro team which has included resurgence under new coach Richard Cockerill, an aborted move to Myreside and a rebrand of the club.
Petrie said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Edinburgh and am grateful for the opportunities and challenges it has presented me with.
“I’d like to wish Richard Cockerill, the players and coaches the best of luck for the future and I’d also like to recognise the huge amount of work that goes in behind the scenes to help move Edinburgh forward as a club, and to realise its potential within a great rugby city.”
Ulster said they hoped Petrie would be in place in his new post in the new year. IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: “We are pleased to welcome Jonny into the Irish rugby family. With the recent appointment of a new head coach [former Scotland forwards coach Dan McFarland] and now CEO, it is an exciting time for an ambitious Province like Ulster, so we look forward to working with Jonny in the months and years ahead.”
The SRU said it will now start the process of appointing Petrie’s replacement.
SRU chief operating officer Dominic McKay said: “Jonny can be proud of his achievements. He has helped to create a strong club identity at Edinburgh which is proving more successful on and off the pitch. We wish Jonny the best of luck and he leaves with our thanks for all his efforts.”