Jerome Fenoglio, who has spent nearly 25 years at Le Monde, was Tuesday elected director of the respected French daily which has been hit by management problems.
The 49-year-old Fenoglio, currently second-in-command at Le Monde, garnered over 68 percent of the staff vote to win a six-year term.
He is Le Monde's sixth editorial director in the five years since the paper was rescued from the brink of bankruptcy by industrialist Pierre Berge, telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel and banker Matthieu Pigasse.
Fenoglio has plans for a more digital future at the paper, but also wants to preserve its core strengths.
"I want to transform the paper into being more digital because that's where the future is and we must think about how to reach new readers," he told AFP.
"We must transform ourselves while protecting our tradition of high quality journalism. The newspaper will remain our spine for a long time yet," he added.
Fenoglio succeeds Natalie Nougayrede, who was the first woman elected to lead the paper. She stepped down under pressure from management in May 2014, about a year after being voted into the job.
Like many newspapers, the centre-left Le Monde is battling falling sales. The paper had an average daily circulation of 280,556 in March, down 6,000 in a year.
Fenoglio had failed in May, by a small margin, to garner the 60 percent of votes among staff needed to secure the editorial director position.