FORTUNE — Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of The New York Times NYT , is unexpectedly leaving the newspaper, The Times said Wednesday. The paper’s current managing editor, Dean Baquet, will replace her, becoming the first African-American in the newspaper of record’s top spot.

In a statement, Abramson said, “I’ve loved my run at The Times. I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.”

After the announcement was made to a group of senior editors, the full newsroom was informed of the news at approximately 2:30pm ET.

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Abramson was the first female executive editor in the newspaper’s history, replacing Bill Keller in September 2011.

Speaking of Baquet’s appointment, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., The New York Times’ publisher, said:

“There is no journalist in our newsroom or elsewhere better qualified to take on the responsibilities of executive editor at this time than Dean Baquet. He is an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization.”