John Makinson is currently Chair of the Advisory Board of the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, and a member of the board of Harvard University Press. From 2013 until the end of 2016 John was Chairman of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest consumer book publisher. He was Chairman and Chief Executive of Penguin Group between 2002 and 2013.
John began his career as a journalist first at Reuters and then at the Financial Times, where he edited the influential Lex Column. Following a spell in the United States with Saatchi & Saatchi, he returned to the UK to establish Makinson Cowell, an independent consultancy. John returned to the FT in 1994 as the newpaper’s Managing Director and two years later was appointed Financial Director of Pearson, the FT’s parent. John has chaired a number of organisations in the not-for-profit sector, including IPPR, the UK’s leading progressive think tank, IRC UK, a humanitarian organisation, Comic Relief, USA, and the National Theatre.
John lives in New York with his wife, writer Nandana Sen. He likes to cook and play the piano very badly.