President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, plans to leave the White House at the end of the year, a move that comes as the administration struggles to show an anxious public it is making progress on the economy.
While administration officials quickly sought to paint the announcement as an expected development, Mr Summers’ departure shakes up an economic team that has been under fire for its handling of the recovery.
It is also a team already in transition following the recent departures of other high-profile Obama advisers.
Mr Summers will return to Harvard University.
He is the third high-level member of Mr Obama’s economic team to leave in recent months, following the departure of budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, head of the Council of Economic Advisers, both of whom left this summer.