He will also step down as chairman of Zodiak-owned kids prodco The Foundation.
Zodiak said Pickard will return to programme-making and will “pursue new ventures”.
Recent commissions for The Foundation include Zack and Quack for Nickelodeon and The Millie Show for CBBC. Pickard will continue to consult for Zodiak and will executive produce key titles for The Foundation including The Floogals, its new show for Sprout in the US.
Pickard said: “It’s been an exciting eight years with RDF and more recently at Zodiak Media and I’m tremendously proud of what we have achieved at The Foundation. Having been so closely involved in all the projects has enticed me to have a hands-on involvement with shows as exciting and innovative as The Floogals.”
Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, CEO Zodiak Media, added: “Nigel has played a defining role in building the Foundation to a centre of creative excellence, making it a key part of Zodiak Media’s international kid’s footprint alongside Marathon Media, Tele Images, and Zodiak Rights.”
The Foundation’s managing director, Gwen Hughes, will take on Pickard’s responsibilities at the company until Zodiak finds a replacement.
Prior to working at RDF and Zodiak, Pickard controller of kids programming at UK commercial broadcaster ITV and at UK pubcaster the BBC. He has also been director of programmes at ITV.