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Wall Street Journal owner snaps up FT’s John O’Donovan to lead technology division


By Jessica Davies | News Editor

May 28, 2015 | 3 min read

Dow Jones, owner of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), has poached Financial Times chief technology officer (CTO) John O’Donovan to head up its technology leadership team as CTO of consumer products and platforms.

O’Donovan, who has taken up his new role this week, will be responsible for the technology across all Dow Jones consumer brands including WSJ, Barron’s, MarketWatch and eFinancialNews.

He will oversee the company’s currently separate consumer product technology and platforms teams, which will become consolidated into a single organisational structure.

In an internal email to employees today Dow Jones CTO Paul Meller welcomed O’Donovan. “Alignment between our products and platforms is key to delivering world-class content and our continued success in digital. We plan to make a significant investment in our platforms in FY16 that will enable us build even better products and innovate faster - particularly in mobile. We look forward to sharing more about these plans in the coming weeks,” he said.

He continued: “I have asked John to work with his new team - Pete Kostakis, Kevin Dotzenrod, Lauren Greene, Bob Krass and Milin Patel - and the broader Technology Leadership team on a plan and structure to build world-class products that our customers love, and, to lead our strategy and investment in customer and content platforms.”

O’Donovan has been CTO at the Financial Times for the last two years, during which time he played an instrumental part in the publisher’s transformation strategy to focus its products around the notion of “universal publishing” that involved building a contextualised, API-based digital portfolio.

He also tested numerous new products for emerging technologies including the FT’s smart watch app FastFT which launched on the Samsung Gear S.

Prior to that he spent around seven years working for the BBC in a variety of senior roles including chief architect of BBC News and Sport, which saw him help play a key role in the launch of the iPlayer.

He will be based at Dow Jones HQ on Avenue of Americas in New York.

The WSJ, which operates a hybrid subscription and advertising model, similar to the FT, reported 2,197,000 global sales for print and digital products for the first quarter of 2015.

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