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John Makinson
Chairman and Chief Executive, The Penguin Group


John Makinson photo

John Makinson is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Penguin Group, the international publishing company. He was the Finance Director of Pearson, Penguin's parent company, between 1996 and 2002, and is a member of the Pearson Board.

John's career has included journalism and investor relations both in London and abroad. From 1994 to 1996 he was the managing director of the Financial Times newspaper where he was responsible for the production, distribution and marketing of the newspaper worldwide.

He moved to the Financial Times from Makinson Cowell, the firm that he co-founded and ran from 1989 to 1994. Makinson Cowell is a specialist independent consultancy which advises leading international companies on their relationships with the financial community.

John is Chairman of the National Theatre, as well as a director of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organisation.

From 1986 to 1989 he held the position of vice chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi's US holding company.

John began his career as a journalist after graduating from Cambridge with Honours in History and English. He began at Reuters where he remained from 1976 – 1979 and worked in the London, Paris and Frankfurt offices. He then moved to the Financial Times from 1979 to 1986 as a journalist, becoming editor of the Lex column and Financial Editor.