John Witherow has stepped down as editor of The Times after nine years and been appointed chairman of Times Newspapers, News UK has said.
News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch praised him as “one of the great editors of his generation” and said he was delighted he would stay with the business.
Mr Witherow has stepped down with immediate effect, and the new editor of The Times will be announced on Wednesday.
He joined News UK in 1980, and was appointed editor of The Sunday Times in 1994 and The Times in 2013.
Mr Murdoch said: “John is one of the great editors of his generation and he can look back on an outstanding career.
“His leadership of both The Sunday Times and latterly of The Times has taken each paper from strength to strength, breaking stories that have resonance around the world. His skill in crafting a quality newspaper that sets the agenda and is an enticing read is unparalleled.
“I am very proud of The Times and The Sunday Times and my sincere thanks go to John for his immense contribution to journalism over the past 42 years. I am delighted that he will stay with the business and take on the role of chairman.”
Mr Witherow said: “Throughout my career as an editor, I have always been aware that I have had the heavy responsibility of preserving the reputation and success of these brands so they can continue to succeed for future generations.
“I believe that The Times is an authoritative, credible, responsible and trusted part of the nation’s cultural heritage and it has been my honour to be the editor.
“Our industry has been through immense change but The Times is thriving and I am proud every day of its agenda-setting journalism.
“I am grateful for the opportunities Rupert Murdoch has given to me, his support and his investment in journalism through the decades.
“Thanks to him, the future for The Times is bright.”