Rebekah Brooks has been confirmed as chief executive of News UK with Tony Gallagher becoming editor-in-chief of The Sun. (Brooks and Gallagher pictured, Reuters)
Current Sun editor David Dinsmore is being moved to the role of chief operating officer.
Gallagher has been deputy editor of the Daily Mail since April 2014 and had been seen as a frontrunner to take over from editor Paul Dacre, who is now 66.
Gallagher was editor of The Daily Telegraph from 2009 until January 2014 when he was sacked by editor-in-chief Jason Seiken (who has himself since left the paper).
News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said: "Rebekah will lead a great team at News UK into the digital future, while maximising the influence and reach of our newspapers, which remain the most informative and successful in Britain and beyond. Her expertise, excellence and leadership will be crucial as we work to extend our relationship with readers and advertisers, and develop our digital platforms to take full advantage of our brilliant journalism.
“David Dinsmore has led The Sun with distinction, and thoroughly deserves this promotion. He has inspired a superb team of journalists who broke many a scoop and had a profound social impact during his tenure.
“Tony Gallagher is one of the most respected journalists and editors in the UK, with a long and honorable history with the Daily Telegraph group and the Daily Mail. His integrity and his ingenuity are splendid assets for The Sun across the week.
“We pay particular tribute to Mike Darcey for his years of service to News Corp, and his sterling contribution to Sky’s success. He came to News UK when the commercial challenges were acute, and ably and admirably steered the business through those turbulent waters."
Brooks returns to her old job some four years after she was forced out of her job by the hacking scandal at the News of the World.
In June 2014 Brooks was found not guilty of conspiracy to hack phones and pay-off public officials during her time as editor of the News of the World and was also cleared of perverting the course of justice by hiding evidence from police.
She said: “I am delighted to return to News UK. It is a privilege to be back amongst the most talented journalists and executives in the business. I am confident that we can meet the many challenges of this digital age with a combination of cutting edge technologies and world class journalism. I am especially pleased to be working for Robert and thrilled to have Tony and David on board my team.”
According to News UK, Brooks will not have added responsibilities for the "acquisition and development of digital properties". She is said to have been working closely with the team at News Corp's video news agency Storyful.
Dinsmore said: “I have enjoyed my time at The Sun enormously – and had the honour of leading an incredible team. However, I am very excited by this opportunity to work with Rebekah and everyone at News UK to seize the opportunities before us and continue to join the best technologies with the best journalism of our time. And I’m very pleased to leave the editorship of The Sun in the capable hands of Tony Gallagher.”
Gallagher said in a statement: “It is my great pleasure and honour to be taking charge at The Sun. It’s a job I couldn’t possibly turn down and I’m looking forward to working closely with Rebekah, David and the rest of the team at The Sun.
"I’ve really enjoyed being back at the Daily Mail and especially the chance to work closely with Paul Dacre, who has been a superb mentor throughout my career. It’s only right I should thank him and his team for everything they have done for me – but this is the opportunity of a lifetime. I can’t wait to get started.”
Brooks was editor of the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, editor of The Sun from 2003 to 2009 and was chief executive of News International from 2009 to 2011.
News UK trumpeted her achievements in a statement: "While she was at The Sun, the publication grew in circulation, and she supported a number of public campaigns, including Help for Heroes, a charity for soldiers wounded in war that raised tens of millions of pounds. At News of the World, Ms. Brooks spearheaded a campaign that led to the introduction of legislation combating child sex offenders known as 'Sarah’s Law'. She was unanimously cleared last year by a jury of all charges related to investigations of various UK newspaper groups."
Dinsmore became editor of The Sun in June 2013, taking over Dominic Mohan. He was previously editor of the Scottish Sun, general manager of News UK in Scotland and director of operations for News UK.
Brooks takes up her new job from Monday, 7 September. Gallagher is said to be taking up his job "in the coming weeks".
Announcing his departure to staff, current News UK chief executive Mike Darcey said: "It is with some sadness that I have to tell you that I am leaving News UK after three fascinating years. I'm sure there will be new challenges and opportunities in the future, but I will miss this building, the people and our wonderful papers.
"Being your CEO has been enjoyable and very satisfying. I am proud to have played a part in strengthening our stature and putting our business on a firm footing.
"You have all heard me talk of our mission to secure a sustainable future for our world-class journalism, and I’m grateful for your support in pursuing the strategy that I believe has brought us closer to that goal. Indeed, one of the highlights of the past year has been to oversee the move to our new headquarters, firmly rooting the company in the heart of London and on its skyline.
"Once again, we are rightly recognised for our news, sport, comment, cartoons, stills and satire – the 'bundles' that our readers continue to value and enjoy.
"Having navigated through difficult terrain and bolstered business disciplines to support our titles, I have been particularly heartened to see the Times and Sunday Times profitable as well as winning awards. On The Sun I am proud that we have expanded its revenue base to include digital subscriptions as well as broadening its social reach.
"The swift and striking success of the News Academy has also signalled very powerfully that we have been serious about safeguarding our journalism for future generations.
"I wish Rebekah Brooks and David Dinsmore well and have no doubts about their determination to continue extending the reach of our powerful platforms in this digital age.
"I’d like to thank my executive team, and all of you for your support and professionalism. Having learnt a lot in my time here I am even more in awe of what you manage to produce day in day out, whatever the obstacles."