Jump to content

John Makinson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Makinson on 3 November 2011.

John Makinson CBE (born 10 October 1954)[1] is the Chairman of Kano, a London-based computing company which makes DIY computer and coding kits.[2] He formerly served as chairman of the international publishing company Penguin Random House. He was chairman of The National Theatre from 2010 to 2016.


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.

He was a co-chair of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organisation, for many years. He was also Chairman of the National Theatre from 2010 to 2016.

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]


  1. ^ MAKINSON, John Crowther, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014.
  2. ^ "Kano's DIY computer kit is going on sale at Toys R Us and Barnes & Noble". The Verge. 26 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Makinson Cowell: The Partners". Archived from the original on 31 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  4. ^ "John Makinson - About Penguin - Penguin Group (USA)". Archived from the original on 4 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Nandana Sen secretly ties the knot - Times of India". articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  6. ^ "IRC-UK: Trustees". Archived from the original on 23 October 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.