Bear Stearns ( BSC) confirmed reports that James E. Cayne will step down as CEO, while announcing that President Alan D. Schwartz will take the brokerage's top spot.

The company said Cayne's exit as CEO is effective immediately, however he will stay on as chairman.

Late Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Cayne was poised to step down due to fallout from the subprime mortgage meltdown among top Wall Street banks that has cost a handful of CEOs their jobs.

Shares of Bear Stearns closed Tuesday down $5.08, or 6.7%, to $71.17.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.