The Financial Times has appointed its first female editor since its founding in 1884, the paper has said. Lionel Barber is to step down as editor after 14 years, to be replaced by its deputy editor Roula Khalaf. Mr. Barber has been with the FT for 34 years in total and editor since 2005 and is due to leave at the beginning of next year. “ It has been a rare privilege and a great pleasure to hold the best job in journalism,” he said on Twitter.
He oversaw its strategy of building a base of digital subscribers which the paper reported had grown to 1 million strong. The veteran journalist had held a string of posts within the FT since 1985, including Washington correspondent and head of its Brussels bureau. Ms Khalaf has been the paper’s deputy editor since 2016 and said taking the top job was a “privilege”. She will become the FT‘s first female editor.
She has worked for the FT for 24 years, the newspaper said, and her career there has included marshaling its foreign reporters during the Arab Spring. She first joined as an Africa correspondent. In a statement, Ms. Khalaf said: “I look forward to building on Lionel Barber’s extraordinary achievements and am grateful for his mentorship through the years.”
The FT‘s owners praised Ms. Khalaf’s experience and integrity. “Roula’s 24-year FT career, including her tenure as deputy editor, has proven her integrity, determination and sound judgment. We look forward to working closely with her to deepen our global media alliance,” said Tsuneo Kita, chairman of Nikkei, in the company’s statement.