Robert Gibbs was easily the most disliked White House press secretary since Scott Mclellan and his departure had been rumored for months, so this isn't too much of a shock. In fairness to Gibbs, press secretary is an awfully tough job, and unlike McLellan, Gibbs is unlikely to become even more hated once he leaves. In any event, I bet Gibbs is glad to be leaving.
The Examiner's White House reporter Julie Mason has already has some thoughts on who might succeed him, and she highlighted this passage from the New York Times report:
Mr. Gibbs said that he intends to leave in early February. His successor has not yet been decided, he said, but will likely be announced within the next two weeks.President Obama, who is in the middle of making final decisions on the first major reorganization of his administration, said in a brief telephone interview on Wednesday that Mr. Gibbs would remain a close adviser and “will continue to shape the dialogue politically for many years to come.”“We’ve been on this ride together since I won my Senate primary in 2004,” Mr. Obama said. “He’s had a six-year stretch now where basically he’s been going 24/7 with relatively modest pay. I think it’s natural for someone like Robert to want to step back for a second to reflect, retool and that, as a consequence, brings about both challenges and opportunities for the White House.”
Happy trails, Gibbsy. Note that according to the president a' "relatively modest" salary is $172,200 a year.