Mr Smith (50) has been the top-ranking officer at Leeds for eight years. But there has been speculation about his job security for some time.
The council is known for the hands-on management of its leading members, in particular leader Brian Walker, who is the highest paid council leader in the country.
In contrast, Leeds' pay for its council manager is considered to be on the low side. When the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives highlighted concern about some low paying metropolitan authorities, Leeds would confirm only that Mr Smith received between£63,009 and£85,161 (LGC, 13 September 1997).
But his successor, the council's executive services director for legal services, Paul Rogerson, has been appointed to 'a newly created post of chief executive'.