World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is resigning following a six-week long controversy over his personal dealings at the anti-poverty agency.
He announced the decision Thursday after World Bank officials met to determine whether to fire the 63-year-old Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz said his resignation was in the best interests of the Bank and would take effect June 30th.
A statement from the Bank's executive board said it accepted that Wolfowitz thought he had acted ethically in arranging a promotion and pay increase for his female companion, a Bank employee.
The White House said President Bush would soon announce a replacement candidate for Wolfowitz, who was a principal architect of the Iraq war before Mr. Bush appointed him to the Bank.
After weeks of insisting that Wolfowitz should retain his job, Mr. Bush acknowledged Thursday that Wolfowitz had lost the battle.
By tradition, the United States nominates the president of the World Bank. The bank has had only ten presidents and Wolfowitz is the first to be forced to resign.
Wolfowitz's hold on the top job became untenable earlier this week as the bank's board moved towards a vote to remove him. That vote never occurred as Wolfowitz resigned after obtaining a statement that he acted in good faith concerning his companion, British national Shaha Riza.