In an email to Financial Times staff on Tuesday, Lionel Barber, the paper's editor announced his 34-year career at the paper would end in January when he leaves “the best job in journalism”. He will be replaced by his deputy, Roula Khalaf.
After more than 14 years in the role, Barber said it was a “natural moment” to hand the reins to Ms Khalaf, adding that “she is fair, she is wise, and she is tough.”
Ms Khalaf has held the FT’s second-most senior editorial post since 2016. Her 24-year career at the newspaper has included running the FT’s 100-strong network of foreign correspondents and leading its Middle East coverage during the Iraq war and the Arab uprisings of 2011.
Born and raised in war-torn Beirut, Ms Khalaf will be the FT’s first female editor since it was founded in 1888. She said she was “thrilled” to be chosen to lead “the greatest news organisation in the world.
During his tenure, Mr Barber, 64, oversaw the shift away from the print advertising model that underpinned the FT’s business for more than a century to a digital publishing strategy and developing a readership of more than one million subscribers.
Despite a sharp decline in print sales, the FT under Mr Barber returned to the black, reporting £25m profit last year on revenues of £383m.
Subscriptions account for roughly 60 per cent of content revenue, and about 70 per cent of readers are outside the UK.