White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says he is resigning his job as the president's chief spokesman.
Gibbs is leaving to become an outside political adviser to Obama and to give speeches in the private sector.
The change is to take effect in early February. No replacement has been immediately named.
The move comes as Obama ushers in a broad shake up of his senior leadership, heading toward his own likely re-election bid in 2012.
Gibbs graduated from North Carolina State University in 1993.