"Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary and a great adviser," Obama said during the daily press briefing. "He has good judgement, good temperament and he's got a good heart. I'm gonna miss him a lot."
Obama said the job as press secretary had been putting strain on Carney's family. Deputy press secretary Josh Earnest will replace him, he said.
Carney thanked the President, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden for what he called an "amazing experience" as press secretary.
Before coming to the White House in 2011, Carney was the chief of Time magazine's Washington bureau and then a press secretary for Biden. He told reporters gathered at the briefing that the job had been an "honor."
"It's an important interaction that takes place here. It's not always pretty. It could certainly be better. But to be a part of it is an honor and a joy for me," Carney said. "And no matter how tough the briefing is, I walk out of here having been glad to stand here."
Carney said Friday's briefing would not be his last, so it's unclear when Earnest will take over.
This post has been updated.