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Washington Post CEO steps down after 9 years, citing 'decline in civility,' 'toxic' political process
Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Washington Post CEO steps down after 9 years, citing 'decline in civility,' 'toxic' political process

On Monday, Washington Post CEO and publisher Fred Ryan announced his plans to resign in August after nine years with the newspaper.

In a memo to staff, Ryan explained that he was concerned about the "decline in civility" and the "toxic" political process.

"As I have shared in conversations with many of you, I have a deep and growing concern about the decline in civility and respectful dialogue in our political process, on social media platforms and more broadly across our society," Ryan wrote. "Many of us can recall an era when people could disagree without being disagreeable. Political leaders on opposite sides of the aisle could find common ground for the good of the country."

"Today, the decline in civility has become a toxic and corrosive force that threatens our social interactions and weakens the underpinnings of our democracy," he added. "I feel a strong sense of urgency about this issue."

The announcement of Ryan's resignation follows a round of layoffs earlier this year that impacted 2,500 staffers.

Ryan, 68, explained that he would remain the Post's publisher until August 1 and that the outlet's owner, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, would announce an interim CEO.

Bezos purchased the outlet for $250 million in 2013.

Ryan, who co-founded Politico, will go on to head the nonpartisan Center on Public Civility at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. He previously worked as an official for the Reagan administration from 1989 to 1995 and referred to his upcoming move as "a bookend for something I did early on in my career."

Ryan noted that Bezos has been supportive of his decision.

"Jeff is personally providing support for the planning and design phase of this new initiative and supports my decision to make this move," he said.

Ryan called Bezos "an exceptional individual that I hold in the highest regard."

Patty Stonesifer, the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was named as the Post's interim CEO. She will assist with the transition and lead the search for a new 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," Stonesifer stated.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →