US Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson Friday resigned from President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/98/387/11284_politics.html ' target=_blank>George W. Bush's cabinet, the eighth secretary to do so since Bush won re-election on November 2.
Thompson, 63, announced his departure in a press conference at 2:00 pm (1900 GMT).
"This morning I submitted by, to president Bush, my resignation as Secretary of Health and Human Services," Thompson said.
Thompson has been in the post since Bush first took office in January 2001. He said he had resigned for personal reasons.
"It's time for me and my family to move on to the next chapter in our life," he said, wrote the Turkish Press.
Mark McClellan, the government's Medicare chief and brother of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/07/10/32162.html ' target=_blank>White House press secretary Scott McClellan, was Thompson's likelysuccessor, officials said.
Earlier Friday, Bush named former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik to be the new chief of the Department of Homeland Security, to replace Tom Ridge, the country's first homeland security secretary, reports Xinhua News.
According to the Bloomberg, as HHS secretary, Thompson led the agencies that provide health insurance to the elderly and the poor, approve new medicines and research diseases and oversee the welfare system.
Almost a quarter of all federal spending comes from his department, which has a $548 billion budget, 66,639 workers and more than 300 programs to run. When he first took the job, the department's budget was $423 billion and it had 59,000 employees.