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Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
FT gets new editor
Andrew Gowers, with first edition of FT Deutschland
Andrew Gowers: returning from Hamburg to take the helm in London
The man under whose leadership the Financial Times was converted from a UK newspaper into an international concern is to quit, owner Pearson has revealed.

Richard Lambert is to stand down as editor after a decade in which the FT has enjoyed a 69% rise in circulation, after successful sales pushes into new countries and expansion online.

He will be replaced by Andrew Gowers, an FT journalist for 18 years, and founding editor of the paper's German edition, FT Deutschland which was launched in February 2000.

Mr Lambert's resignation had been widely expected - it has been widely reported that he has an eye on an academic post.

A statement from Pearson on Thursday said Mr Lambert would remain at the FT until the end of the year, after which "he expects to look for a new, full-time role outside the company".

'Pivotal role'

Mr Lambert, an FT journalist since 1966, has played a "pivotal role" in the paper's transformation from a UK-oriented title into a leading international concern, Pearson chief executive Marjorie Scardino said.

During his decade as editor, the paper's daily circulation has risen from 287,000 copies, of which more than two-thirds were sold in the UK, to 486,000 copies today, more than half sold outside Britain.

The FT has also added Frankfurt, New York, Paris and Tokyo editions to the UK flagship, and expanded onto the internet through FT.com, which claims 40 million page views a month.

"He will be a hard act to follow," Ms Scardino said.

Race for editorship

The race to succeed Mr Lambert is thought to boiled down to a contest between Mr Gowers and Robert Thomson, an Australian who heads the FT's US edition.

Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist magazine, and Lionel Barber, editor of the FT's European edition, were also thought to have been on the short list.

Mr Gowers, who joined the newspaper in 1980 as a graduate trainee, edited the FT in July 1997 while Mr Lambert was in New York helping prepare the US edition for launch.

He was in January 1999 appointed founding editor of FT Deutschland, which claims daily sales of more than 70,000 copies.

"It will be a huge challenge to build on what Richard has achieved," said Mr Gowers, who will take over London editorship in September.

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