In a statement on the FASEA website, chair Catherine Walter has announced that Mr Sanders will be preparing to exit the role and "continue his long-standing career in professional standards".
Griffith University professor Mark Brimble has been named interim managing director, commencing in the role on 23 April.
Mr Brimble stood down from his previous role as chair of the FPA's Financial Planning Education Council (FPEC) in February.
The government has engaged executive search firm Egon Zehnder to help find a replacement CEO.
“FASEA is seeking a credentialed leader with superior communication and stakeholder management skills, the ability to build a high-performing team, with strong implementation and strategic execution capability,” Ms Walter said.
“Naturally, understanding of the Australian financial services ecosystem and its impact – both positively and negatively – on Australian consumers would be beneficial.”
The departure comes amid substantial backlash from accounting and SMSF circles about the incoming requirements.
In particular, accountants are frustrated that the current guidance does not differentiate between accountants holding a limited versus full AFSL.
Further, bodies like Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand are fighting against accountants with postgraduate qualifications being grouped with financial advisers.
“Generally speaking, accountants who have operated in this area have done it for a long time. Those people with 20-plus years' experience should be recognised as having different credentials to someone that has just got a degree and RG146,” said CA ANZ senior policy adviser, Bronny Speed, late last month.
“Surely those years and those extras equate to something,” she said.