Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has been sacked, with the bank's board saying it seeks a leader with "a new set of skills".
Jenkins – who some dubbed the "nice guy of banking" – will leave the business on 17 July, when John McFarlane picks up the reins as executive chairman.
A search for Jenkins' successor is now underway. McFarlane will lead the business until a replacement is found, and members of the group executive committee will report directly into him. Jenkins' departure did not signal any major change in strategy, Barclays said.
Barclays' share price jumped 2.7 per cent at the open.
The board praised Jenkins for his contribution “in incredibly difficult circumstances”, saying the group was “extremely grateful to him in bringing the company to a much stronger position”.
“The situation he inherited would have challenged anyone facing the same issues,” the group said.
However Barclays' non-exec team, led by deputy chairman Sir Michael Rake, said “new leadership is required to accelerate the pace of execution going forward”.
Rake explained: "I reflected long and hard on the issue of group leadership and discussed this with each of the non-executive directors. Notwithstanding Antony's significant achievements, it became clear to all of us that a new set of skills were required for the period ahead.
“This does not take away from our appreciation of Antony's contribution at a critical time for the company."
McFarlane added: "While it is unfortunate that I have had little time to work with Antony, I respect and endorse the position of the Board in deciding that a change in leadership is required at this time. I would add my personal thanks for everything that Antony has done for us. He can be proud of his heritage, especially his excellent work on culture and values that we will continue. I wish him well."
McFarlane said he arrived "with a fresh perspective" towards the bank, which, although having a "standout brand", was failing to make the most of its worth. "A new approach is required," he said.
"As a group, if we aspire to bring shareholder returns forward, we need to be much more focused on what is attractive, what we are good at, and where we are good at it."
"We, therefore, need to improve revenue, costs and capital performance. We also need to become more externally focused and deal with the internal bureaucracy by becoming leaner and more agile. I have experienced good results in dealing with these matters elsewhere," he added.
Jenkins said: "It is easy to forget just how bad things were three years ago both for our industry and even more so for us. I am very proud of the significant progress we have made since then.
“While the external environment has continued to be, and will remain, challenging the group now has the resilience to overcome these challenges."
"Most of all, I am proud that we have defined our culture through a common set of values for the group and that the progress we have made and the tough decisions we have needed to take have all been achieved by applying these values and by focusing on the needs of all our stakeholders."
"I want to thank the people of Barclays for their tireless efforts and support in achieving these results and for my own part I am looking forward to the professional opportunities that lie ahead."