Mr. Obama, who announced Mr. Carney’s departure, said Mr. Carney would be replaced by the deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest.
Mr. Obama called Mr. Earnest a person of “sound judgment and great temperament.”
Mr. Carney, who fielded questions from the press moments after Mr. Obama left the podium, said the timing of his departure was uncertain.
“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” Mr. Carney said. “I’m excited by some of the possibilities. I’m sure you guys will be among the first to know after I’ve decided what to do.”
“It’s been an amazing experience. Just so fulfilling,” Mr. Carney said.
Despite coming from the White House press corps himself, Mr. Carney developed a sometimes contentious relationship with the news media, who often pressed Mr. Carney to say more than he was willing to about the president’s policies and decision-making.
Mr. Earnest, who has worked for Mr. Obama since the 2008 campaign, was the obvious choice to replace Mr. Carney. He has stood in for Mr. Carney at times in the briefing room, and Mr. Carney said Mr. Earnest would go to Europe with the president next week.