Sir Gus O'Donnell's retirement letter:
I wanted to let you know that I am announcing my retirement today, after over six years as Cabinet Secretary, Head of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office. I will be leaving the civil service at the end of the year.
I have really enjoyed my time at the Cabinet Office and am extremely proud of the highly professional work that you do right at the centre of government. I have been a civil servant for 32 years and remain convinced of the importance of our traditional values of honesty, objectivity, impartiality and integrity in underpinning all the work that we do.
Turning to the future, we are taking the opportunity to restructure roles at the top. The Cabinet Office has expanded and taken on new responsibilities since the election. In recognition of this, it will be led by a dedicated Permanent Secretary. Ian Watmore, currently head of the Efficiency and Reform Group, will take on this role. Jeremy Heywood will take over as Cabinet Secretary. There will no longer be a Permanent Secretary at No.10. The role of Head of the Civil Service will be taken on by one of the current departmental Permanent Secretaries, after a competition. He or she will provide leadership to the civil service alongside their existing departmental responsibilities.
I would like to thank you all for your continuing hard work and commitment to public service. These are difficult times, but I am confident that you will continue to demonstrate professionalism and pace in facing the challenge of delivering better services with fewer resources. I am also sure that you will provide my successors with the same enthusiastic support which you have given me, and for which I am so grateful.