It may only be coincidence that head of the DOE Loan Program, Jonathan Silver, stepped down today, amid a public outcry over the failed $535 million loan to the now-bankrupt Solyndra.

According to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Silver said he would leave the office months ago once the 1705 loan program expired on September 30. He is currently moving on to become a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at policy think tank Third Way.

“In early July, shortly after the fiscal year 2011 budget was completed by Congress and it became clear that no significant new funds were included for the loan program, Jonathan Silver informed me that he intended to return to the private sector shortly after September 30, the statutory end-date of the 1705 loan guarantee program,” Chu wrote in a statement.

AOL Energy spoke with Silver in May about the program. Listen to the podcast here. He wrote about the importance of the program here.

According to Chu, Silver–who joined the DOE in November 2009–was able to transform the loan program and make it into a “demonstrated considerable success, with a broad portfolio of investments that will help American companies compete in the global clean energy market.”

During Silver’s term as head of the program, the US loan office has supported 38 projects, 28 of which are supported by the 1705 loan program. The 1705 program totaled $16 billion in loan guarantees. Read more about the loan program here.