Army General Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency, and his deputy are expected to step down from their positions in the coming months, U.S. officials stated on Wednesday.
Alexander has filed formal plans to leave the agency sometime in March or April 2014. Meanwhile, his civilian deputy, John Chris Ingels, is set to exit the NSA sometime before the end of this year, anonymous government sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Officials say that Alexander is leaving after eight years due to a series of scandals that revealed that the NSA was collecting phone records, email lists and social media lists of millions of American citizens. Alexander’s departure may allow President Obama to help reshape the agency and its objectives in the face of public backlash over the NSA’s data mining operations.
So far, there are no official plans for who will replace Alexander after his retirement, but the officials who spoke to Reuters claimed that Vice Adm. Michael Rogers has emerged as a frontrunner. Rogers currently commands the United States Navy’s 10th Fleet as well as the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command. Both are located at Fort Meade, Maryland, where the NSA is also headquartered.