Senior deputy editor of the Evening Standard Ian Walker is leaving the title to join Mail Online as executive editor.
The news comes three weeks after former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne took over as Standard editor.
Walker, who has been at the Standard for 17 years, told Press Gazette he has been discussions with Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke for some time and his exit was nothing to do with the arrival of Osborne. Walker had been seen by some as a frontrunner for the top job at the paper.
He said: “It has been great since he [George] has been here, I’ve really enjoyed working with him. It is a wrench to be leaving because it genuinely has been brilliant.
“In terms of setting the agenda he has been putting the Standard back where it has been leading the political debate. You couldn’t have asked for a more diverse range of stories since he has been here.
“But Mail Online is the biggest news website in the world and when the opportunity came to work there I couldn’t turn it down.”
Walker, who has been Standard deputy editor for five years, is being brought in to strengthen the news operation at Mail Online. He leaves the Standard in September.