The Chronicle was part of the Romanes Media Group until May when it was sold to Newsquest along with 28 other local titles, most of them based in Scotland.
Lesley becomes the latest senior figure to depart in the wake of the deal which has already seen two former senior RMG executives, group publishing director Keith McIntyre and finance director Graham Faulds, leave the business.
Lesley has declined to comment on her departure but it is thought that she had become disenchanted with the direction of the paper since the takeover and that the decision to leave was hers alone.
Newsquest recently axed the production department of the former Romanes titles in Berkshire and transferred its work to the company’s existing production hubs in Southampton and Newport, with the loss of around seven jobs.
It is not clear whether Ian plans to appoint a successor to Lesley and he has so far not responded to HTFP’s requests for a comment.
A former Mail on Sunday journalist, Lesley took over as editor of the Chronicle in June 2014 after her predecessor, Maurice O’Brien, was forced to quit amid the fallout from a front page story on crowd trouble at Reading Football Club.
The piece had appeared to link the Hillsborough disaster to football hooliganism and led to a furious backlash from campaigners, including the Liverpool Echo.
It is understood that Lesley does not have a new role to go to and is now considering future career options.