Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, on Monday announced that he will be stepping down from his position after more than six years at the helm.
His resignation will take effect from February 1.
Kim, 59, was not due to leave until 2022, after he was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017.
He will “join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries”, the World Bank said.
Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank’s chief executive officer, will assume the role of interim president.
Speaking on his resignation, Kim in a statement said: “It has been a great honor to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime.
“The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity.
“Serving as President and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all these challenges has been a great privilege.”