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

Patty Stonesifer named interim CEO; Ryan remains as publisher until his departure in August


The Washington Post today announced Fred Ryan, publisher and CEO, is stepping down to lead a newly formed nonpartisan Center on Public Civility at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. He will remain publisher of The Washington Post until August. Patty Stonesifer has been appointed interim CEO of The Washington Post, where she will oversee the leadership team and steer the organization through a period of transition.

Ryan has served as publisher and CEO for the past nine years. Under his leadership, The Post saw multiple years of profitability; vastly expanded digital subscriptions; expanded its international reach with 24/7 hubs for around-the-clock live and breaking news coverage; launched Arc XP, an industry-leading, cloud-based digital platform that serves more than 1,900 sites in 28 countries; formed The Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership, a coalition of eight organizations that raises awareness of the fundamentals of press freedom and what is at stake for democracy; and extended the reach of Washington Post journalism through a partnership with CAA and Imagine Entertainment. 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 starts today in the interim CEO role. She will be managing the transition and leading the search for a new Washington Post publisher and 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 on the board of regents and was chair of the Smithsonian Institution and the White House Council for Community Solutions. 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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