The World Bank said on Monday that its president, Jim Yong Kim, would step down from his post in February to join a private infrastructure investment firm.
Mr 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.
Mr. Kim, 59 years old, said in an email to bank staff that his “opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets.”
He first became president of the World Bank in 2012, appointed by President Obama, and in 2016 he was appointed to a new term lasting through 2021, meaning his successor wouldn’t have been appointed during the first term of the Trump presidency.
Kristalina Georgieva, the current CEO of the World Bank, will become interim president effective Feb. 1.