“There was always going to be a point when it would be time to move on, so I took advantage of their offer,” Roberts told Broadcast.
Roberts had scaled back his day-to-day involvement in the company in recent years, but remained on its board as an executive producer.
He will now develop a series of feature films which he plans to direct and co-write. His debut feature, In Tranzit, with John Malkovich, is awaiting a release but is tied up in legal issues.
Roberts, a former BBC producer on Panorama and Newsnight, founded October in 1989. He has made more than 100 documentaries including Channel 4's Inside the Mind of the Suicide Bomber and BBC2-PBS co-production The Insurgency. Last year, he was one of the leading protesters against budget cuts for the BBC's Storyville documentary strand. He is currently in pre-production with a Storyville film for October about the heroic mythology that has built up around the US Seventh Cavalry.
Rooke said he and Bullmore now remained focused on building the company after a tough year for factual indies.
“We'll retain our association with Tom and hope he will be able to executive produce on a freelance basis where the opportunity arises,” he said.
October Films is set to move into new offices next month following a period of expansion.