He will take charge of The Sun and News of the World and replaces Camilla Rhodes as managing director. She has taken the new role of chief executive of News International's magazine division.
Bert Hardy, a director at the Standard, will replace Anderson on a caretaker basis while the company searches for a long-term successor.
Anderson, 41, joins News International after launching the Associated Newspapers Metro freesheet and then developing Standard Lite.
News International is rumoured to be considering launching a freesheet after it hired Metro International's New York editor-in-chief, Stefano Hatfield, to head its projects division. Anderson's appointment has added further fuel to this speculation.
News Group recently moved its creative account from TBWA\London to Euro RSCG London. It is reviewing its media planning and buying, which is with Carat.
Perspective, page 12.