Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO, announces decision to step down from The Washington Post and lead new civility initiative

The Washington Post has announced that Fred Ryan will step down as Publisher and CEO to become the Director of a nonpartisan Center on Public Civility, which is being formed at Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. He will continue as publisher of The Washington Post through August. Patty Stonesifer was appointed interim CEO at The Washington Post. She will lead the leadership team through the transition period and oversee the organization.

Ryan has served in the role of Publisher and Chief Executive Officer for nine years. The Post has seen multiple years of profitability under his leadership. It also expanded its digital subscriptions, expanded its international reach, and launched Arc XP – an industry-leading cloud-based platform that supports more than 1,900 websites in 28 countries. The Post has also won multiple awards for exceptional journalism under Ryan’s tenure, including 13 Pulitzer Prizes, and twice been named “The World’s Most Innovative Media Company“ by Fast Company.

“During my time at The Washington Post, we have evolved from a primarily local print newspaper to become a global digital publication and added significantly to our ranks of journalists, engineers and business teams, taking The Post through multiple years of profitability. I will always be proud to have been part of one of the most extraordinary transformations in modern media history,” said Ryan. “I feel a strong sense of urgency in my next steps to address the decline in civility and respectful dialogue in our political process. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the new Center on Public Civility which will play an important role in support of our democracy.”

Stonesifer begins today as the interim CEO. She will manage the transition as well as lead the search for the new Washington Post Publisher/CEO.

“I have had the privilege over my career of leading great organizations with a laser focus on serving their mission and their communities. I have both respect and passion for the mission and the journalism of The Washington Post – one of the greatest newsrooms in the world – and I am delighted to join this team in supporting the values and sustaining the work of this important institution,” said Stonesifer.

Stonesifer was the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation following executive roles at Microsoft. She served as Chair of the Smithsonian Institution, the White House Council for Community Solutions and on the Board of Regents. She holds board roles at Amazon, Rockefeller Foundation, Co-Impact and and was most recently President and CEO of Martha’s Table, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., committed to supporting children, families and communities.

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