Moments after Wayne Wouters announced his retirement as clerk of the Privy Council, the prime minister named Janice Charette to the post.
Wouters announced his departure today in a short statement on Twitter and his office's website.
Wouters has been in the public service for nearly 37 years, starting with his first government job in Saskatchewan.
He worked for the provincial government for five years before moving to Ottawa in 1982 and a job at what was then known as the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources.
Wouters has not said whether he will be taking on a new job outside of the public service.
"After nearly 37 years, I'm retiring from public service," he said in his statement. "It's been a true honour and privilege to serve as clerk."
Harper thanked Wouters for his contributions to the federal government.
"I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Wouters for over 37 years of outstanding public service and for his important contributions and accomplishments as clerk over the past five years, Harper said in a statement.
He also welcomed Charette to her new job.
"Ms. Charette's knowledge and many years of experience will be a tremendous asset and I look forward to continuing to work with her."
Charette, who is currently deputy clerk of the PCO and associate secretary to the cabinet, has steadily climbed up the public service ranks since 1984.
She has held deputy minister roles for the human resources and immigration departments and deputy minister positions in the health department and at justice.
Charette's appointment is effective Oct. 6.