The appointment will make Wighton the newspaper's chief business commentator, writing a business and politics column for the opinion pages and a weekly column for the business section. He will also contribute economic and business analysis to the news pages.
Wighton joined the Times in 2008 as business and city editor, having spent 14 years with the Financial Times as New York bureau chief, US banking editor, US news editor, financial news editor and chief political correspondent in Westminster.
He joined the FT from the Daily Telegraph, where he was city news editor.
Editor of the Times, Jeremy Harding said:
"The economy and the future of British business is the key story of the next few years. David Wighton, who is the most respoected voice on corporate life in Britain, will cover the political economy, ranging from the City of Westminster, the factory floor to the executive suite."
Wighton will be replaced as business and city editor by deputy business editor Ian King. King, a former Daily Telegraph and Guardian coorespondent, joined the newspaper in 2008 after almost nine years as business editor of the Sun.
Wighton and King will take up their new positions on Monday, 31 January.
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