Two senior campaign officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Monday that Jim Jordan was ousted by the Massachusetts senator and his campaign chair, Jeanne Shaheen, the former governor of New Hampshire.
Jordan will be replaced by longtime Democratic operative Mary Beth Cahill.
The sources said that Jordan was told by Kerry the reason he was dismissed was because changes were needed in the campaign.
Cahill has worked for Emily's List, a lobbying group on behalf of women's political issues and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Jordan, former head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, helped build Kerry's presidential campaign and positioned the senator as an early front-runner in the 2004 Democratic sweepstakes.
However, the candidate and his campaign were slow to respond to surprise surge of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. Kerry has been contemplating a shakeup for several weeks.
Kerry, an 18-year veteran of the Senate, is third in most polls in Iowa, where the nation's first presidential selection caucuses will be held, and trails Dean by a double-digit margin in New Hampshire, a must-win state for both men.
The change comes days after Dean solidified his grip on the front-runner status by securing two highly coveted union endorsements — from the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and abandoned the U.S. public finance system — along with the spending limits that come with it.
Kerry's whose wife is the heiress of the Heinz ketchup fortune, is expected to announce this week whether he will follow suit and invest his family's money in his bid for the White House.