The bust-up comes less than a year after Yorkshire took over Tyne-Tees in an agreed deal and only a few weeks after the group completed a cost-cutting programme resulting in more than 300 staff losing their jobs.
Mr Leach said Mr Ritchie had left to pursue other interests within the television industry, and the parting was on good terms.
He denied suggestions that there was a row between the two. However, a senior source said: 'There has been a clash of styles and personalities. Ian did not accept the intentions Clive has for the way the group is going.'
The departure also indicates the increased tension between the Newcastle camp, which represents the Tyne-Tees side of the company, and the Leeds camp.
Many of those in the Newcastle camp feel that the operation is becoming little more than an outpost of the main operation, rather than a dual TV centre.
Mr Ritchie was one of two deputy managing directors on the Tyne-Tees board, the other being Alan Hardy, who is based in Leeds. His place on the board is to be taken by another Leeds-based director, John Calvert.Reuse content