In an unexpected move, Peter Boylan will resign as co-president and co-chief operating officer of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. on April 1.

Gemstar, which made the announcement late Monday, said Boylan will stay on as "a consultant to the company."

The news hit Gemstar's stock in early trading Tuesday, as shared slid almost $3 to $18.76.

Boylan, who joined the company after TV Guide and Gemstar merged, has been a key cog in crafting long-term deals for the company's interactive program guide.

"Pete Boylan's energy and focus on the cable industry has helped Gemstar-TV Guide to sign some 140 long-term licensing agreements with cable MSOs in a short 15-month period," said Henry Yuen, Gemstar-TV Guide's chairman and CEO, in a press release. "We wish him well in his new ventures."

Boylan said he plans to spend more time with his family and to "embark on new challenges in my career."

As part of the internal shuffling, Gemstar promoted Jonathan Orlick to executive vice president and general counsel, and appointed Mark Allen to the new position of executive vice president, technology licensing.

In his new role, Allen will handle the domestic and international licensing of Gemstar's core IPG technology, including TV Guide Interactive and Guide Plus+. Yuen said Allen led the team that negotiated and closed a number of MSO agreements, including those with Comcast, Charter and Adelphia.