Both the new secretary of state and CIA director will have to be confirmed by the Senate.
Why was Tillerson fired?
Reports had swirled since last year of a schism in the Trump administration between the commander-in-chief and his top diplomat.
Last October Mr Tillerson was forced to convene a news conference to deny claims he planned to quit, though he did not address a report that he had referred to his boss as a moron after a Pentagon meeting.
Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea.
In December, the secretary of state departed from administration talking points when he offered to begin direct talks with Pyongyang without preconditions.