Rahm Emanuel will resign as White House chief of staff on Friday. NBC News has confirmed that Pete Rouse, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will be named as successor — likely on an interim basis.
It is still unclear who will take over the position permanently.
"The president will have a personnel announcement tomorrow," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a press conference Thursday. "We will save the specifics for then."
Two people familiar with his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt Emanuel's announcement, told The Associated Press that he will return to Chicago over the weekend and begin touring neighborhoods on Monday.
"He intends to run for mayor," one of the people said.
Both people said they did not know when Emanuel would make an official announcement about his mayoral bid but that he would launch a website with a message to Chicago voters in the near future.
Emanuel's plans have been the source of widespread speculation both in Chicago and Washington, D.C. ever since Mayor Richard Daley announced this month he would not seek re-election. In an April television interview, Emanuel had called it "no secret" he'd like to run for mayor.
Daley, who has held the mayor's job since 1989 and carried on a family dynasty, surprised many with his announcement. The choice for Emanuel suddenly became whether he would make a dash for the political job he has openly coveted, at a cost of uprooting his family again and quitting his post of national influence sooner than he thought.
Over the last week, speculation has abounded as to Emanuel's possible replacements.
In addition to Rouse, the shortlist includes Vice President Joe Biden's Chief of Staff Ron Klain, former Democrat Majority Leader Tom Daschle, soon-to-be former governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, and the current Director of Central Intelligence Agency Leon Panetta, who also served as President Bill Clinton's chief of staff from 1994 to 1997.
NBC News reported on Tuesday that two other likely contenders — Deputy National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and White House counsel Bob Bauer — were not interested in the position.
Rouse began his career as a Senate aid in 1971 and worked as chief of staff for South Dakota senator and former Majority Leader Tom Daschle (another name that’s been bandied about as a possible replacement for Rahm). In 2004, after Daschle lost re-election, Rouse was tapped to work as Obama’s Senate chief of staff.
Rouse has been with Obama from the very beginning — through his campaign and transition to president — and possesses what Obama described in a 2007 interview with the Washington Post as an invaluable knack for “looking around the corners of decisions and playing out the implications of them.”
NBC's Savannah Guthrie contributed to this report.