Lord Sacks will be a “hard act to follow”, the President of the United Synagogue said as he announced that the chief rabbi will retire in two years' time.
Simon Hochauser told a US Council meeting on Monday that Lord Sacks will leave his post in September 2013, after 22 years in the post.
Despite some speculation that he would not be replaced, it was made clear that there would be a successor and that focus groups would be used during the recruitment process.
Lord Sacks, who has an MA from Cambridge and a PhD from King's College London, took over from Lord Jakobovits in 1991. He was knighted in 2005 and took his seat in the House of Lords last year.
He has written several books including The Dignity of Difference and To Heal a Fractured World.
Mr Hochauser said Lord Sacks had been a remarkable force in Anglo-Jewry.
He added: “There will be another Chief Rabbi. In the period between now and the summer, when I will also be retiring, we will be consulting a number of groups, including young people, synagogues and their chairs and women’s groups.
“It will be as broad a cross-section as we can possibly make it.”