President Barack Obama's chief of staff is handing over some of his day-to-day management duties in the West Wing.
The move comes as the White House readies for a bruising re-election campaign, as the president's approval numbers sag in the sluggish economy.
Chief of staff Bill Daley announced Monday that Pete Rouse, a senior aide to the president, would be taking on an expanded coordination and operational role in dealing with White House staff. The shift is part of Daley's efforts to make the West Wing run more efficiently, said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
White House officials denied that the move was any reflection on Daley's performance as chief of staff. Daley will retain his title as chief of staff and Rouse will continue to serve as a senior aide to the president.
"Bill Daley as the chief of staff retains all of his authority and ultimate responsibility for the White House operations and White House staff," Carney said.
Carney said the move to give Rouse a greater hand in managing internal communications and day-to-day operations has been in the works for several weeks.
Daley, a former bank executive and commerce secretary, joined the Obama administration in January, following the Republican party's sweeping victories in the 2010 midterm elections. He took over as chief of staff from Rouse, who held the position on an interim basis after Rahm Emanuel returned to Chicago to run for mayor.
Rouse, an understated, well-respected figure in the West Wing, had told the president he didn't want the chief of staff job permanently.
Daley has said he plans to return to his native Chicago after the 2012 election.
The staffing changes were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.