Director general of the Al-Jazeera satellite TV channel stepped down Tuesday after serving the network for eight years, the channel announced. 

Wadah Khanfar said he had wanted to resign since July and his replacement was arranged one month ago to ensure a smooth transition, Al-Jazeera said in a statement.

Khanfar will be succeeded by Sheik Ahmad bin Jasem bin Muhammad al-Thani, a Qatari businessman and member of the royal family. The Qatar-funded station praised Khanfar for outstanding contributions.

Khanfar's resignation came after Wikileaks released documents last year which showed his close ties with the U.S. and his agreement to remove some content in response to American objections.

The documents leaked last year showed that Khanfar was regularly in touch with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. He allegedly responded to the U.S. complaints of negative coverage and also promised to tone down items on the station's Web site.

According to the cable, Khanfar removed images of two wounded children in hospital beds and a woman with serious facial injury from Al-Jazeera's coverage of U.S. military operations in Iraq.

Khanfar had a different tale to tell on Twitter. He said that he resigned in accordance to the network's need for renewal and change, and commented on several tweets linking his resignation to the leaked U.S. embassy cables, by saying, (I am) entertained by all the rumors of why I have resigned.

Al-Jazeera's English-language service has had difficulty breaking into the U.S. market.