Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, is unexpectedly leaving the position and will be replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the newspaper, the company said Wednesday.
Ms. Abramson, 60, a former investigative correspondent and Washington editor who was appointed to lead the newsroom in 2011, was the first woman to serve in the top job.
"I've loved my run at The Times," she said in a statement. "I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism," she said, noting her appointment of many senior female editors as one of her achievements.
"There is no journalist in our newsroom or elsewhere better qualified to take on the responsibilities of executive editor at this time than Dean Baquet," said Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of The New York Times and chairman of The New York Times Company. "He is an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization."
Mr. Sulzberger made the announcement to senior editors in a gathering at a conference room Wednesday afternoon, and addressed the full newsroom around 2:30 p.m.
Mr. Baquet, 57, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and a former editor of the Los Angeles Times, will become the first African-American executive editor at The New York Times. "It is an honor to be asked to lead the only newsroom in the country that is actually better than it was a generation ago," he said, "one that approaches the world with wonder and ambition every day."
The reasons for the switch were not immediately clear.
—By Ravi Somaiya of The New York Times