Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, has left his post and has been replaced with his deputy, US President Barack Obama said.
Obama interrupted the White House daily press briefing on Friday to announce Carney's departure, and said Josh Earnest will take up the post.
The president said he would miss Carney and his advice, and called Earnest "a straight shooter and a great guy" who had been part of his team since he first ran for office.
"It's bittersweet," Obama said, referring to Carney, a former Time magazine journalist, as "one of my closest friends in Washington".
Carney took over the job as press secretary in January 2011, succeeding the first man to hold that job for Obama, Robert Gibbs.
Carney, 49, has been press secretary for longer than usual for such a high-pressure job. Many occupants stay for only a couple of years before leaving.
After Obama left the podium, Carney told reporters that he has not made any decisions yet about his next job but has had some conversations during the past few months about new possibilities.
He said he first planned to spend the summer with his children.