UPDATE 1-Obama picks former acting budget chief Zients as economic adviser
WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen former acting budget chief Jeffrey Zients to replace Gene Sperling as his top economic adviser, a White House official said on Friday.
Obama plans to make the announcement about the change later in the day, according to the official, who was confirming a report in The New York Times.
Sperling, a longtime economic adviser to Obama and to President Bill Clinton, will step down at the end of this year.
Sperling worked at the Treasury department in Obama's first term before replacing Larry Summers as chairman of the White House National Economic Council. Summers is now a top candidate to replace Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Zients served two stints as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget but was passed over for the top job despite being popular among White House staff.
He was also considered for two Cabinet posts, secretary of commerce and U.S. trade representative, but those jobs went to Penny Pritzker, a businesswoman from Chicago and top Obama fundraiser, and Mike Froman, a White House adviser on international economics, respectively.