John Micklethwait
John Micklethwait

Noted for his British aristocratic charm, John Micklethwait will bring a thirst for sharp editorial content to his new role as Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief.

His career so far has been spent at two companies — Chase Manhattan bank, where he worked briefly after university, and the Economist, where he has spent the following 27 years.

He reported from London, New York and Los Angeles for the magazine — which describes itself as a newspaper — before becoming editor in 2006. Once a primarily UK publication, the Economist has embedded itself as a staple of the global elite. Mr Micklethwait, who is known for his intellect and sense of humour, has done likewise — joining the Bilderberg Group of leading political and business figures.

His political instincts are thought to be close to Michael Bloomberg’s: liberal on social issues but pro-business. “Ideologically they are quite a good fit,” said one former colleague. Mr Micklethwait’s most recent co-authored book, The Fourth Revolution, argues the case for smaller government.

He will be taking on a unique newsroom culture, shaped by Mr Winkler’s strict reporting rule book, which cautions reporters against the use of “pseudo colour” and the word “but” in their stories. One colleague described Mr Micklethwait as a more hands-off editor.

He will leave the Economist, which is part owned by the Financial Times Group, in good health: its total paid circulation has increased by nearly half in eight years to 1.6m, including 164,000 digital-only subscribers. “He has been the editor through the greatest structural challenge to the business’s distribution model, with the title’s reputation enhanced,” said Douglas McCabe, an analyst at Enders Analysis.

Nonetheless, Mr Micklethwait, 52, does have one reason to be glum: he supports Leicester City Football Club, which is currently bottom of the English Premier League.

Get alerts on Bloomberg LP when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article