The ramifications of the move are unclear.
“I condemn the treatment of Julian Assange that leads to my new role,” Hrafnsson said, as The Daily Dot reported, “but I welcome the opportunity to secure the continuation of the important work based on WikiLeaks ideals.”
The organization was founded and has been led for more than a decade by Assange, but the silver-haired Australian has been isolated in legal limbo at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012.
WikiLeaks tweeted that Assange will stay on as the group’s publisher.
Assange had his communications cut in March by Ecuador’s new president, Lenín Moreno, and Wednesday’s statement said the 47-year-old ex-hacker remained “incommunicado.”
WikiLeaks’ job titles have proven fluid over the years.
Assange has described himself variously as the group’s spokesman, publisher and editor.
Hrafnsson, a longtime friend of Assange, said that it “remains to be seen” whether his change in responsibility will be permanent.
The Dot reported that Hrafnsson is an Icelandic journalist with multiple awards for his work.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for His email is