International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo Rato, in a surprise announcement, said Thursday he would step down in October for personal reasons, cutting short his five-year term.
Rato, who took office in June 7, 2004, said he would depart after the IMF's fall meetings in October.
"I have taken this decision for personal reasons," he said in a message to the IMF staff. "My family circumstances and responsibilities, particularly with regard to the education of my children, are the reason for relinquishing earlier than expected my responsibilities at the fund."
Rato, a former Spanish finance minister, is separated andhas three children who live in Madrid.
His departure comes in the middle of one of the biggest revamps of the 62-year-old international financial institution, which he launched in September 2005, amid pressure by emerging economic powers who want a greater say in the running of the fund.
Rato said he was determined to make progress on some reform issues in coming months that will rebalance the voting power of some major emerging economies to reflect their growing status in the world economy.
"I hope that my departure can provide an incentive for all of us to work together constructively and effectively with the membership over the next few months to try and accelerate the time table in these areas and ensure that we make significant progress by the time of the annual meetings," Rato said.