Deborah McWhinney, president of Schwab Institutional, retired this morning at the age of 52, something communicated to the firm’s advisors and employees via a trio of e-mails--first from Schwab chairman and CEO Charles “Chuck” Schwab, then from Deborah McWhinney herself, and finally, from Schwab COO Walt Bettinger.

Charles Goldman, chief operating officer at Schwab Institutional, will take on the role as head of Schwab Institutional effective immediately. Goldman joined Schwab in 2001, and served in corporate strategy and development roles before assuming responsibility for Schwab Institutional’s day-to-day operations under McWhinney.

McWhinney survived breast cancer last year, but that apparently did not spur her departure. According to a spokesperson for Schwab Institutional, McWhinney said, “It’s the right time for me to step aside and search for new opportunities for growth.” McWhinney has served as head of the Institutional division since joining Schwab in 2001.

(Click here to read a recent Registered Rep.Q&A with McWhinney)