He resisted months of mass protests, as his people demanded he step down.
But a rocket attack has now forced Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave Yemen, and hand power to his deputy.
Saleh is in Saudi Arabia for treatment to injuries he suffered in the attack on his palace.
Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the vice-president, has taken over as acting president, and commander of the armed forces.
So, what is next for Yemen's rulers and its opposition?