John Makinson

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John Makinson on 3 November 2011

John Makinson CBE (born 10 October 1954)[1] is the Chairman of the international publishing company Penguin Random House.[2] He is chairman of The National Theatre.


After being educated at Repton School and completing his degree at Cambridge University, John started working as a journalist, first at Reuters and then at the Financial Times, where he edited the influential "Lex" column. From there he moved to Saatchi and Saatchi's US holding company, before co-founding Makinson Cowell,[3] a specialist independent financial consultancy firm. After five years, he returned to the Financial Times to become its managing director, before accepting a job as the Pearson Group finance director, where he worked until moving to the Penguin Group, a subsidiary of the Pearson Group.[4] He was Chairman and CEO of Penguin Group (worldwide) from 2002 to 2013.

In addition to being Chairman of Penguin Random House and the National Theatre, Makinson is a director of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organisation.

He is married to actor and activist Nandana Sen, daughter of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and Padmashri-awardee Nabaneeta Dev Sen.[5]

He has used his knowledge of business to help compile a report for the British government, called Incentives for Change, and received a CBE in 2001 for his services to public sector productivity. He was also photographed by Harry Borden for the National Portrait Gallery in Britain.[6]

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