When Ms Jill Abramson, 60, was asked to be executive editor of The New York Times, she accepted, saying it would be the honour of her life.
But last Wednesday, less than three years into her tenure, she was replaced abruptly by Mr Dean Baquet, 57, managing editor and second in command at the newspaper.
Many outsiders were shocked, but for months, people in the company were aware that tension between Ms Abramson and Mr Arthur Sulzberger Jr, the publisher of the newspaper and chairman of The New York Times Co, had been bubbling below the surface.
Not the most popular figure, Ms Abramson - the first woman to helm The New York Times - had been described by colleagues as stubborn, condescending and unreasonable. She told Newsweek she had cried after reading a Politico article in April last year about losing support in her newsroom.
But the most scorching words were perhaps those printed in her own newspaper - or at least the one she used to lead - which said last Wednesday there had been complaints from employees that she was "polarising and mercurial".
Mr Sulzberger told the newsroom in Manhattan that the decision had been made due to "an issue with management in the newsroom".
The handover from Ms Abramson to Mr Baquet was markedly different from the time when Ms Abramson received the baton from predecessor Bill Keller. For starters, she was not at the announcement.
According to The New York Times, Mr Baquet thanked Ms Abramson for teaching him "the value of great ambition", but then added that Mr John Carroll, whom he worked for at The Los Angeles Times, "told me that great editors can also be humane editors".
"I have loved my run at the Times," Ms Abramson said in a prepared statement, and noted her appointment of many senior woman editors as one of her achievements.