SYDNEY  - Oscar-winning Hollywood star Cate Blanchett and playwright husband Andrew Upton are to leave their roles as co-artistic directors of Australia’s most prestigious theatre company.

The high-profile couple, who are credited with turning around the Sydney Theatre Company’s finances during their tenure, will step down at the end of 2013.

“As they announced at the launch of the 2012 season, it was always their intention to only stay for two terms,” STC chairman David Gonski said in a statement on Saturday.

“We asked Cate and Andrew to stay on but we respect their decisions to leave in two years’ time to pursue other professional interests.”

The couple took over the reins of the country’s largest acting troupe in 2008 and Gonski paid tribute to them.

“As co-artistic directors and CEOs, with inspirational leadership, Andrew and Cate turned around the STC’s finances and made it a sustainable business while taking it to new artistic heights,” he said.

“They are a couple not only of extraordinary talents and profile but they have a strong business sense and a strong financial rigour.”

The Sydney Morning Herald said their decision to step aside was due to Blanchett’s overseas film commitments and the pressure of being parents to three young children.