Jay Carney will step down as White House press secretary, President Barack Obama said on Friday.
Obama made the announcement during a press briefing held by Carney.
"In April, Jay came to me in the Oval Office and said that he was thinking of moving on, and I was not thrilled, to say the least," he said. "But Jay has had to wrestle with this decision for quite some time."
Carney, who was named the 29th White House press secretary in early 2011 (the second under Obama), will be replaced by communications deputy Josh Earnest.
Reports had surfaced in March that Carney, former Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, would be exiting his post in the spring, perhaps to return to journalism.
Josh Earnest has been special assistant to the President, principal deputy press secretary and chief of staff in the Office of Communications. He is a graduate of Rice University (political science and policy studies). He joined the Obama presidential campaign in March 2007 as Communications Director for Iowa, home of the key caucus. He is a native of Kansas City, Mo.
The President Friday called Earnest a "friend and advisor" and said the "flak jacket is officially passed to a new generation." The President said Earnest's name "described his demeanor," and pointed out he has been the "golden" voice behing the White House's in-house video, West Wing Week.