Martin Ivens is stepping down as editor of the Sunday Times and will be replaced by deputy editor of the Times Emma Tucker.
Ivens, who held the position for seven years, said it was “time to do something new”.
News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said: “Under Martin’s editorship, the Sunday Times has broken investigative stories of global impact, such as the reporting on Fifa, and the paper has built on its strong record for political reporting and campaigning.
“Martin’s wisdom and encyclopaedic knowledge of history have long enriched the Sunday Times and its readers, and I thank Martin for his great service.
“I am delighted Emma Tucker is taking on the role as editor. She has had a stellar career in both print and digital journalism.
“She has a clear understanding of how digital is affecting our industry and how it can be deployed to the benefit of all readers. I know she will do a great job as the next editor of this outstanding publication.”
The first and only other female editor of the Sunday Times was Rachel Beer, between 1893 and 1901.
Before moving to the Times, Tucker was at the Financial Times, where she became editor of FT Weekend.
News UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks said: “Emma becomes the first female editor of the Sunday Times in more than a century and she brings with her invaluable experience and great energy.
“On the Times, she has played a key role in the digital delivery of our content and in overseeing the evolution of our products and our newsrooms.”
Ivens will join the Times Newspapers (TNHL) board as a director and “continue to contribute to our coverage as a commentator and broadcaster”.
He said it had been a “privilege to edit this great newspaper” but after 30 years with the Sunday Times and the Times “it is time to do something new”.
He added: “We have published terrific political scoops, in-depth investigations, reinvigorated three brilliant magazines, and won global awards for a successful redesign. I am delighted that Emma is taking over and am grateful to all my colleagues for making this newspaper the complete Sunday package.”
Tucker, who will take up her role on January 28, said: “The Sunday Times is one of the most famous newspaper brands and it’s an honour to take on the editorship.
“Its record of investigative journalism, political scoops and breaking stories is unrivalled, as well as its features which set the agenda in the world of arts, fashion and culture.
“I look forward to continuing that legacy of first-class reporting and working with the talented team there.”
Last year, the Government gave the Times and the Sunday Times permission to share some resources, including journalists, between the two newspapers, which the publications said would help them “stay competitive”.
The sports, travel, property and money desks have since shared resources.
Legal undertakings were given to keep them separate, to protect the independence of the titles, when Murdoch bought them in 1981.