In a statement, Carlyle said it and Lee mutually agreed they would not renew Lee's contract as CEO which finishes by end-2022, without disclosing reasons. Lee, who turns 57 this week, also stepped down as a board member.
Co-founder Bill Conway would serve as interim CEO while a search for a new candidate takes place, the company said.
Lee joined Carlyle in 2013 as deputy chief investment officer for corporate private equity and was made co-CEO of the firm in 2017, before assuming the title solely in 2020.
Prior to that, he had a 21-year career with rival firm Warburg Pincus.
His profile page is no longer accessible available on Carlyle's website.
Carlyle has 26 offices across five continents, managing private equity and private credit funds and private equity asset manager AlpInvest.
As of June 30, 2022, the firm has $376 billion of total assets under management, of which $260 billion was fee-earning, and available capital for future investment was $81 billion, according to its Sunday statement.
(Reporting by Jyoti Narayan in Bengaluru and Kane Wu in Hong Kong; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Kenneth Maxwell)