Paul, currently deputy editor of The Observer, succeeds John Mulholland, who takes up a new role as editor of Guardian US in April 2018.
Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, said: “I’m delighted Paul Webster has agreed to be editor of The Observer. He has great experience, judgment and understanding of The Observer’s place in British public life and will be a superb editor for the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper.”
Alex Graham, chair of The Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian and Observer, said: “The Scott Trust wholeheartedly endorses Paul’s appointment, and reaffirms our commitment to The Observer. At a time when its open, liberal outlook is more important than ever, Paul is the perfect choice to take the paper forward.
“John Mulholland has been an outstanding Observer editor for the past decade, and we wish him every success as new editor of Guardian US.”
Paul Webster said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed editor of The Observer, especially at such an exciting time in the paper's development as it relaunches in its new tabloid format. I am absolutely committed to the progressive and liberal principles that The Observer represents, and to the high standards of journalism that my predecessors have achieved.
“We have a brilliant group of reporters, critics, commentators, and editors, as well as a loyal but demanding readership. I look forward to working with my colleagues to develop the new Observer as it faces up to the huge challenges of the era.”
Paul Webster has been deputy editor of the Observer for 20 years, under Will Hutton, Roger Alton and John Mulholland. He was previously Foreign Editor and Home Editor of the Guardian.