Economist chief executive to step down

The Economist group chief executive Helen Alexander is to step down in July.

She will be replaced by current Economist magazine publisher Andrew Rashbass from 16 July 2008.

Alexander joined The Economist as marketing manager in 1985, becoming managing director of the Economist Intelligence Unit till 1997, when she became chief executive.

She was awarded a CBE for services to publishing in 2004 and is currently chairman of Periodical Publishers Association, the magazine industry trade association.

Alexander is leaving the Economist Group to become an adviser to private equity group Bain Capital and will continue as a non-executive director of Centrica plc and Rolls-Royce Group plc.

Announcing her departure, Alexander said she expected the Economist Group’s growth, which has seen operating profit rise by 75 per cent in the past five years, to continue.

She said: ‘The Economist Group is in better shape than ever, and has had another record year. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved, and privileged to have led such a winning team. Now is the time for a new chief executive to take over. The temptation would be to stay too long: but it’s the right time for me to move on.

‘I expect our results for the year to March 2008 to show how strongly the Group continues to grow. I will leave the Group in excellent condition and hand over the reins to Andrew, who I know will build on the progress achieved to date. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues who have worked to deliver our success, and have made my time with the Group so enjoyable.”

The Economist Group includes the flagship magazine, associated publications, conferences and businesses like the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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