The English-language newspaper The Standard has installed a new senior editorial team following the sacking of chief editor Karl Wilson and deputy editor Howard Winn. Mark Clifford, formerly the Asia regional editor for BusinessWeek, has been named editor in chief and publisher. Mr Wilson, who served at the helm of the newspaper for more than two years, last night said his enforced departure had come as a shock. 'It was a surprise, absolutely ... it came out of the blue,' he said. 'But it is the owner's right to change editors and that is fine. I wish the new management team all the best.' The newspaper is owned by the Global China Group, which is controlled by tycoon Charles Ho Tsu-kwok and also publishes Sing Tao newspaper. Mr Wilson said he had been asked to stay in Hong Kong to help with the transition over the next three months. 'My reckoning is they felt they needed another direction, something more solidly business and that is something we have been trying to build on. They have a very good staff to work with.' Mr Clifford, speaking after his first day on the job, said the new management team included deputy editor John Berthelsen, the former business editor of Asia Times, director of business development Philip Jay and associate publisher Peter Neville. 'John is a veteran who first came to Asia in 1966 with Newsweek in Saigon and he was with the Wall Street Journal through the eighties,' he said. 'The other two guys will focus on the sales side.' Mr Clifford paid tribute to his predecessors, adding the paper was 'in a growth mode with no further layoffs planned'. 'Karl and Howard did a very good job stabilising the paper and laying the foundations for future growth,' he said.