John Micklethwait has been editor since April 2006. The board of The Economist Group is starting the process of choosing his successor; under the Articles of Association, their choice has to be supported by the newspaper's four independent trustees. A new editor is expected to be confirmed before the end of January, when John Micklethwait will stand down.
The Group's chairman, Rupert Pennant-Rea, said today: "I know everybody in the Group will be sorry to see John go. He has steered the newspaper through some extraordinarily difficult times, both in the media industry and in the wider world, and has done so with great energy and enthusiasm. His nine years as editor is close to the average tenure for the previous 15 editors, but none of them had to cope with the scale and pace of the changes he has handled. He leaves with the best wishes of the board and, I'm sure, all the staff."
John Micklethwait said: "It has been an enormous privilege both to have been the editor of The Economist since 2006 and to have been able to work for 27 years at such a consistently stimulating and collegial place. I am extremely confident that The Economist will continue to thrive as an independent liberal voice that echoes around the world."