He's retiring as Cubs' skipper at the end of the season.
I think this likely does a couple things. It may end up motivating the team, jump-starting them in a way that nothing much has this year. Win for Lou, so to speak.
It also preserves Lou's job; probably not going to fire him knowing he's gone. It's a good PR move. So what if he's lost the team? He's retiring! Hendry's said as much - there isn't much sense in bringing in an interim, short term manager. Just let Lou finish it out.
It also, as Hendry also pointed out, gives management the opportunity to begin searching for the next manager out in the open - no need for secrecy. That's probably a plus. Every time Ryne Sandberg flies into Chicago, we won't have to hear about him maybe being interviewed for the opening. Likewise with anyone else out there. ("Hey, didja hear Bobby Valentine's house-hunting in Lake Forest?")
So who's out there as possibilities? The media keeps suggesting Joe Girardi, but I wonder why he'd leave the Yankees' job for this one. Of course, there's Ryno - he's paying his dues in the minors and clearly wants the job. And there's analyst and former manager (and winning manager at that!) Bob Brenley, who also seems like he is interested.
I sorta like Brenley. He's tough, knowledgeable, and experienced. He also knows this team, since he's been with them for something like 6 years now. Brenley for 3 years with Ryno as his bench coach and heir apparent. Doesn't sound too bad.