The Malaysian entrepreneur had always intended his tenure as F1 team boss to be mid-term, while he worked to find someone suitable to take over from him.
Having just finalised a major tie-up with the Renault group to produce new Alpine sportscars, Fernandes revealed that he and deputy chairman Dato' Kamarudin Meranun have decided that the time is right to appoint a successor.
"On the racing side we have come to the conclusion that it is better if someone else takes over the team principal role to move forward," he said in a joint interview with AUTOSPORT's sister publication Autocar.
"We are definitely better at business than finding tenths of seconds around a lap.
"It was right for us to lead the team initially and set a template of how it should be. That vision is now set and the team is ready to move forward to the midfield."
It is not clear who Fernandes' successor will be, but he revealed it would be someone already working in F1.
"I know who it will be - and can tell you that today as I had confirmation earlier," he said.
"[But] I cannot tell you their name yet. All I can say is that they are from within F1."
- Sports & Recreation