Well, it’s official. Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton is stepping down from his role in the second half of 2019, confirming speculation about the move that circulated earlier today.

According to Freddie Mac, Layton notified the government-sponsored enterprise's board of directors about his retirement plans. The board then created a CEO succession plan to find Layton’s replacement.

Freddie Mac said in its release that the succession plan is expected to be completed by Layton’s retirement. The plan includes considering candidates from both inside and outside the company.

The internal candidate Freddie is eyeing? The GSE has already identified that person: David Brickman, who serves as the executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac Multifamily. Freddie Mac’s board also announced it has formed a search committee, as well as an executive search firm for its external candidate search.

Additionally, the board announced Brickman will be appointed to serve as president of Freddie Mac, effective immediately.

Deborah Jenkins, who currently serves as the senior vice president of multifamily underwriting and credit, will be promoted to executive vice president and take over Freddie Mac’s multifamily operations on January 1, 2019.

"Don has played an indispensable role in transforming Freddie Mac and moving the housing finance system in a better direction, particularly with his leadership in developing the GSE credit risk transfer market,” Christopher Lynch, chairman of Freddie Mac’s board of directors. “The Board is extraordinarily grateful for his service to the company, and we anticipate that he will continue to play an invaluable role at Freddie Mac during his remaining tenure.”

In regards to Brickman stepping into the role of president, Lynch said the board is “confident” that Brickman’s experience will help further the company.

“David is an excellent choice to serve as president,” Lynch added. “He is a natural leader who has built the multifamily business into the industry’s innovative market leader.”