Matthew Symonds

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Matthew Symonds
Matthew John Symonds

(1953-12-20) 20 December 1953 (age 70)
Known forCo-founder of The Independent
Children4, including Carrie Johnson
RelativesBoris Johnson (son-in-law)

Matthew John Symonds (born 20 December 1953) is a British journalist and, since 2018, the executive director of the Larry Ellison Foundation. He was a co-founder of The Independent in 1986.

Born in 1953,[1] Symonds is the son of John Beavan,[2] who at the time was London editor of The Guardian,[3] and BBC World Service broadcaster Anne Symonds.[2][4] He worked for the Mirror group, the Financial Times, and The Daily Telegraph, which he joined in November 1981 as economics leader writer, before in 1986 becoming a co-founder of The Independent,[5] with Andreas Whittam Smith and Stephen Glover. The three had worked together at The Daily Telegraph and had all left the newspaper towards the end of Lord Hartwell's ownership of it.[6]

After leaving The Independent, Symonds was appointed as strategy director of BBC World Service Television, then from 1996 to 2018 was on the staff of The Economist. While there, he received the Wincott Prize for financial journalism in 1998, and went on to serve as the magazine's political editor and technology editor, before his last job for it, as defence and diplomatic editor.[7]

Symonds said of himself in 1996 that he was an economic liberal, believing in the market, but also in individual liberty and freedom. He wrote that "...the only way in which you can find efficient and humane solutions to problems is to give people as much information and as much power over their own lives as possible."[5]

Symonds has a wife Alison, with whom he has three children.[5]

In 1988, he had another daughter, Carrie Symonds, with Josephine Lawrence McAfee, a lawyer at The Independent.[8] Their daughter is now married to the former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Selected publication[edit]

  • Softwar: an intimate portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle (Simon & Schuster, 2003, ISBN 978-0743225052)[9]


  1. ^ Mr Matthew John Symonds at, accessed 24 June 2019
  2. ^ a b Anne Symonds, Broadcaster (obituary) in The Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2017
  3. ^ Terence Lancaster, Obituary: Lord Ardwick, The Independent, 19 August 1994
  4. ^ 2018 "Symonds, Matthew John, (born 20 Dec. 1953), Executive Director, Lawrence Ellison Foundation, since 2018." WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 24 Jul. 2019
  5. ^ a b c Isabel Wolff, How We Met in The Independent dated with 18 February 1996, accessed 24 June 2019
  6. ^ Stephen Glover, The Independent, reflections on the last twenty years in The Independent dated 6 October 2006, accessed 24 June 2019
  7. ^ Matthew Symonds IISS Trustee at, accessed 24 June 2019
  8. ^ Dominic Midgley, Carrie Symonds: The steely blonde who’s whipped Boris into shape dated 14 June 2019 at, accessed 24 June 2019
  9. ^ Matthew Symonds at, accessed 24 June 2019