Regular White House leaks have hinted since past year about his looming departure until President Donald Trump pulled the trigger yesterday in a tweet as Tillerson was making his way back home from an African tour. "On the other hand, Secretary Tillerson was a counterweight to some of the instantaneous, spontaneous, instinctive decisions that the president was prone to make".
After 13 months of feeling demoralized under Tillerson, several senior State Department officials said they believed Pompeo was poised to elevate the department's role in foreign policy. He also praised Trump, saying, "His leadership has made America safer".
More departures may come soon.
"Because he's had all these different voices around him that have all these different ideas, it ended up being just a grand experiment", said Harry Kazianis, director of defence studies at the Centre for the National Interest.
While many have been critical of Mr. Tillerson, I think he was probably very good for the position during this tense period. He was calm, rational and poised, which his commander-in-chief is not.
Pompeo defended the president's move but stressed the US and its allies will continue to press North Korea in advance of any Trump-Kim summit.
"Trump did not fire him because he wanted him to be like John Kerry". The same is increasingly true of the Oval Office. However, Undersecretary of State for Public Affairs Steve Goldstein told reporters that Tillerson learned from the president's tweet like everyone else. The former Exxon Mobil CEO was among the advisers who reportedly tried unsuccessfully to stop the president from ordering steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Following a day of talks with China's President Xi Jinping late previous year, Mr Tillerson said USA officials were exploring channels of contact with Pyongyang amid sky-high tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests. And I think we're going to miss the counterweight.
"I've worked with Mike Pompeo now for quite some time".
Lu said China hopes that the USA "can maintain the positive situation that has recently developed on the Korean peninsula, including the positive desire shown by both the American and North Korean sides for willing, direct talks". "We have a very similar thought process".
In a brief statement, the former undercover officer said she was "humbled" by Trump's confidence in her. "We have to move on".
Pompeo was elected as congressman in Kansas' 4th district in 2010 and served for three terms before heading the Central Intelligence Agency.
Tillerson also was known for his Russia connections and would be Trump's most concrete outreach yet to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Although his nomination as state secretary had won the recommendations from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and defense chief Robert Gates, Tillerson clashed with Trump over both domestic and global issues. Trump's longtime personal aide John McEntee was dismissed Monday and undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs Steve Goldstein was sacked hours after Tillerson on Tuesday. Trump was also challenged by most of his cabinet on his rash decision to meet Kim Jong-un. He squared off against Idriss Deby, the authoritarian president of Chad; Saudi Arabian royalty and the government of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. "The person in the state department in charge of North Korea retired in February".
"We want him to be successful", the third senior State Department official said. The prospect of having Tillerson at State sparked protests outside the Capitol during his confirmation hearing, and significant opposition from Democrats in the Senate.
Tillerson and Mattis had pressed a skeptical Trump to stick with the nuclear agreement with Iran and other world powers, and Tillerson has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation. That work has been done chiefly by Tillerson's policy planning chief Brian Hook.
Mr Tillerson also appeared out of the loop last week when Mr Trump announced he would meet with North Korea's leader and become the first sitting U.S. president to do so.