Higgins has edited The Sun since January 1994 and will carry on at News International in a senior role. The Sun's circulation fell under six per cent year on year in the April ABC audit.
According to Higgins: "I have had the privilege of working as editor of the Sun for five years. It's been incredibly hard work and I have had a wonderful time, but I am certain this is the right time in my life to make a change.
"I have been lucky enough to work with great, talented people at all levels and will miss all of them. I am sure they will carry on the Sun's fantastic success story, and I wish my successor all the luck in the world."