John Ridding is the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Times Group, a role he has held for the past 10 years. Under his stewardship the FT has expanded its global operations, successfully scaled and transformed its core business and acquired a number of companies that support its multichannel strategy including Money-Media, Medley Global Advisors, Exec-Appointments, Assanka (renamed FT Labs), Alpha Grid and most recently Longitude.
He managed the acquisition of the FT by Nikkei in 2015, a merger than has been completed smoothly to create a global news media leader. He also serves as a Special Executive Director of Nikkei. He is co-chair of Nikkei’s Digital Strategy Committee and sits on Nikkei’s Global Investment Committee.
During his tenure the FT has built its reputation for quality global news and analysis and digital transformation. The FT now attracts the largest paying readership in its 129-year history, with two-thirds of its readership now coming from digital channels and a growing presence in video and social media. It has won a series of awards for its strategy and its coverage and is recognised as an industry leader in innovation and communications.
Mr Ridding has been at the FT for 29 years, including leadership roles in editorial, business and at the FT’s former parent company, Pearson, where he was President of Pearson Professional, a division of the global education business. He was a member of Pearson’s executive board, and also served as President of Pearson in Asia, over-seeing the group’s regional education strategy. He launched the Corporate Learning Alliance in partnership with IE of Spain and the FT125, a leadership forum now complemented by a forum for women in business.
Prior to his Pearson role, Mr Ridding was the editor and publisher of the Financial Times in Asia. He led the launch of the FT’s Asia edition in 2003, steering it to a series of commercial and editorial successes. He also led the development of the FT’s Chinese language website, which now has more than 2m users and is the leading international source of business news in China. He launched a number of training and educational initiatives in the region.
During his career at the FT, Mr Ridding has held a variety of senior positions in both editorial and business departments, including deputy editor, managing editor, Asia editor, Paris correspondent and Korea correspondent. Before joining the FT, he worked at Oxford Analytica, heading the economics and Asia Pacific desks.