Washington (CNN) - Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, who ran the Justice Department's day-to-day operations, announced Thursday he will soon resign after less than a year in the key post.
Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed the news of the unusually early departure, but gave no indication of any differences between himself and his deputy.
Holder called Ogden "an effective and diligent advocate for the American people."
"I am sorry to see him go, and I thank him for his service to the department and to the nation," Holder said.
Ogden said he would return to his Washington law firm when he steps down on February 5. He said that would provide Holder time to identify his successor and ensure a smooth transition.
"The goals I hoped to achieve when I accepted this position either have been or soon will be fulfilled," Ogden said in a prepared statement. "The Department is in good hands, and I feel I can now return to the private practice I have missed these thirteen months," he said.
Ogden held the position which Holder occupied under former Attorney General Janet Reno.