Newsquest Scotland has also announced Graeme Smith, who had been serving as acting editor-in-chief since Magnus Llewellin left to become Scottish editor at The Times, will be taken on permanently as editor of The Herald.
Graeme, who began his career as a trainee at the Derby Evening Telegraph in 1989, becomes the 27th editor in The Herald’s 233-year history.
In Donald’s new role, he will be responsible for 200 journalists working across Newsquest’s Scotland’s 26 newspapers and their associated websites.
He said: “I’m delighted to be returning to newspapers and the Herald & Times. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with a new, ambitious management team determined to build the brands and grow the business.
“I am also excited to be leading the talented and dedicated editorial teams producing such great newspapers. It’s a huge portfolio of titles and I am confident that by working well together we can be even more successful.
“And from a personal point of view my wife Janie and I are looking forward to being back in Glasgow and closer to our family.”
He is also on the board of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
Newsquest Scotland managing director Graham Morrison said: “Donald Martin brings a new era of flair, innovation and drive to one of the most senior editorial roles in the Scottish media.
“His strategic focus, record of success in print and digital and huge potential hold great promise for our pan-Scottish portfolio of print titles and digital products at this time of huge change in the media industry.”
“He will lead talented and committed title editors, each focused on best serving readers of their individual brands. I am delighted that Graeme Smith joins that team.”