Stanley Fischer has resigned as the governor of the Bank of Israel, two years ahead of his scheduled departure date.
Mr Fischer – who has in the past been voted the world's leading central banker – is credited with successfully guiding Israel through the credit crisis that engulfed other major economies in the aftermath of the sub-prime housing crash in the US, and the subsequent collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
A former deputy head of the International Monetary Fund and vice chairman of US banking giant Citigroup, Mr Fischer took over as head of Israel's central bank in 2005. No reason was given for his sudden resignation, which will take effect in June.
Mr Fischer has presided over a successful period of economic growth in Israel, and a stabilisation of the country's currency, the shekel.