White House press secretary Jay Carney is resigning as the White House’s principal spokesman.
President Obama announced the move in a surprise appearance during Carney’s briefing and the same day he accepted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric ShinsekiEric Ken ShinsekiWhy aren't more Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Biden's Cabinet? Biden VA pick faces 'steep learning curve' at massive agency Biden nominee: VA staff hampered by 'mismanagement' MORE’s resignation.
Carney will leave his job next month, and he’ll be replaced by his deputy, longtime Obama aide Josh Earnest.
Obama hailed Carney as “one of my closest friends” and a “great press secretary.” Carney has been Obama's press secretary for the last three years.
"He's got good judgment; he has good temperament, and he's got a good heart," Obama said. "And I'm going to miss him a lot. I will continue to rely on him as a friend, an adviser after he leaves to spend as much of his summer as he can with his kids before he decides what's next for him. Whatever it is, I know he's going to be outstanding at it."
On Friday, Carney said flatly he was not interested in that job, which remains open.
“I can assure you that my family, having won me back, would not be happy with that outcome,” Carney said.
A veteran Time magazine reporter, Carney served as Vice President Biden's spokesman before taking over the White House briefing room podium.
He said being the press secretary had been an amazing experience, and did not provide specifics on his future plans.
"I haven't made any decisions yet. I've managed over the past months to have some conversations about what my future might look like, and I'm excited by some of the possibilities," he said.
Obama has a long history with Earnest, who began working with Obama on the 2008 campaign.
"Josh was my Iowa communications director, and even when he was in that role, you'd find him spending an extra hour or two helping young staffers make phone calls or knock on doors," Obama said. "There was no task that was too small, no detail too unimportant for Josh to attend to."
Psaki, who served as the president's campaign spokesperson in 2012, left the administration for the private sector shortly after Carney was chosen to succeed Robert Gibbs before later returning.
This story was updated at 3:53 p.m.