Roger Alton, the former editor of The Observer, is replacing Simon Kelner as the editor of The Independent as Kelner becomes the managing director of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
At the same time, the newspapers' commercial director, Simon Barnes, is leaving, and his role is being filled by Daryl Fielding, a managing partner at Ogilvy.
Ivan Fallon, the chief executive of The Independent's parent company, Independent News & Media, said: "The combination of Simon Kelner and Roger Alton, perhaps the two most outstanding editors of recent years, will be formidable and will help take The Independent into a major new and exciting phase in its history. Between them, they have won just about every award in the business."
Kelner replaces Terry Grote and will retain his editor-in-chief title, taking on responsibility for the commercial, marketing and circulation departments as well as editorial management.
Alton, who quit The Observer last autumn after nine- and-a-half years in the editor's chair, said of his new role: "I am immensely privileged to have the chance to work on The Independent, which is a brilliant and innovative paper, and represents an opportunity to build on the great achievements of past editors."
Fielding joins the newspaper after ten years at Ogilvy, during which time she worked on the global development of Dove's "campaign for real beauty". Before that, she worked at BMP on the Labour Party account.
Kelner said Fielding would bring a fresh perspective to the paper's commercial strategy: "We already have a commercial department that punches above its weight, but under Daryl's leadership, I believe we can achieve even more success."
Fallon said Barnes had done "a superb job" for the paper. "At a time when many newspapers have seen static or negative growth, The Independent has grown its revenues substantially, and we are very grateful for all that he has done."
But Fallon added that it was inevitable that a new managing director should want his own team around him.
- Headliner, page 15.