"Ann Compton, everybody here knows, is not only the consummate professional but is also just a pleasure to get to know," Obama said.
"I was proud to be able to hug her grandbaby recently, and I suspect that may have something to do with her decision," he added. "But I just want to say publicly, Ann, we're going to miss you, and we're very, very proud of the extraordinary career and work that you've done … And I suspect you may get some cake at some point."
Compton, who joined ABC in 1973, was the first woman to cover the White House full time for a network news organization. She serves as the White House Correspondent's Association president and has reported on every president since Gerald Ford.