Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will leave President Obama's cabinet by March, creating another opening for the president to fill as he begins his second term, according to a senior administration official.
Mr. Salazar, a former senator from Colorado, was part of Mr. Obama's original cabinet. As the head of the interior department, he was the president's top adviser on issues involving open space, parks and drilling.
After the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, Mr. Salazar was in charge of inquiries into the regulation of oil companies by the Minerals Management Service.
The Denver Post first reported  Mr. Salazar's departure.