Gates asked Winter to stay on until March 13 or until President-elect Barack Obama names a successor, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Winter, who became secretary of the Navy in January 2006, had suggested he would leave when Obama is inaugurated next week.
The Navy confirmed his decision Tuesday. The Pentagon had already said that Army Secretary Pete Geren and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley will remain in those jobs until Obama names replacements.
Gates is the one holdover from President George Bush's Cabinet who will remain in the same job under Obama.