Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of the Guardian, has announced he will not take up the position of chair of the Scott Trust, the paper’s owner and has resigned as a trustee.
He was due to take up the post in September but announced in a letter to the Guardian's staff today (13 May) that he had been pushed out by the newspaper’s management.
Rusbridger stepped down as editor-in-chief of the Guardian in 2015 after 20 years in the role, replaced by Katharine Viner. In the letter, Rusbringer hinted at Viner and chief executive David Pemsel readying the appointment of an alternative chair.
The letter read: “Kath and David clearly believe they would like to plot a route into the future with a new chair and I understand their reasoning.”
It seems Viner and Pemsel are not alone in their thinking; in recent weeks anonymous Guardian staff told papers that Rusbringer was to blame for the media organisation’s current financial crisis, which is expected to announce operating losses of more than £50m for its first quarterly results.
Liz Forgan will remain as chair while The Scott Trust as it embarks on “an open and transparent process” to appoint her successor, the organisation said.
“The Trust has reluctantly accepted his decision, although it was its unanimous hope that he would stay on the Board," it continued.
Alan Rusbridger said: "The Scott Trust plays a crucial role in nurturing and protecting Guardian and Observer journalism. The economic climate facing all newspapers has changed drastically in the last 12 months. It's obvious that new business models will have to be created and I can understand why a new team would want a new Chair. I send my former colleagues every possible good wish for the future."
Forgan added: “Alan Rusbridger’s contribution to the Guardian over 20 years as editor-in-chief is immeasurable. He has been the creative leader of this place and an inspiration to generations of journalists. His decision reflects his enormous integrity and his dedication to the Guardian".