Financial Times editor Lionel Barber is stepping down after 14 years on the job. His replacement, Roula Khalaf, will be the first woman to lead the storied UK newspaper.

The newspaper announced Tuesday that Barber would leave after 34 years spent working prestige assignments including Washington correspondent, Brussels bureau chief and editor.

"It's been a rare privilege and pleasure to hold the best job in journalism," Barber said in a statement.

The FT quickly named Khalaf as its new editor. She has worked at the paper for 24 years and served as its deputy editor since 2016. She previously oversaw foreign and Middle East coverage.

"It's a great honour to be appointed editor of the FT," Khalaf said in a statement. "I look forward to building on Lionel Barber's extraordinary achievements and am grateful for his mentorship through the years."

Barber led the FT through a period of profound uncertainty for newspapers as readers abandoned print and moved online. In 2015, Japanese media group Nikkei purchased the FT from its previous owner, Pearson.

Tsuneo Kita, the chairman of Nikkei, said in a statement that Barber had "transformed" the FT and navigated an "unprecedented collaboration between the two newsrooms."

"Lionel and I have built personal trust over the last several years; it's very sad to see him leave the FT. However, both of us agree it is time to open a new chapter," said Kita.

Kita added in a statement that he has "full confidence" in Khalaf, citing her proven "integrity, determination and sound judgment."

Barber will remain editor through the UK general election, handing the reins to Khalaf in January.

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