updated 11/3/2005 9:22:14 AM ET 2005-11-03T14:22:14

Financial Times publisher Pearson PLC said Thursday that the newspaper’s editor, Andrew Gowers, has resigned due to “strategic differences” between him and the publisher.

Pearson said that Lionel Barber, the paper’s U.S. managing editor, will take over from Gowers immediately and will move full-time to London in January.

Gowers became editor of the London business daily in 2001, after stints as Middle East editor, features editor, foreign editor, deputy editor and founding editor of Financial Times Deutschland.

Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, thanked Gowers in a statement “for his distinguished 22-year career at the FT.”

“As editor he led the integration of print and online media, extended our international reach and steered the FT through the most difficult markets in its history,” she said.

The paper would not comment on what the “strategic differences” amounted to, nor whose decision it was that Gowers should leave.

Gowers could not be reached for comment. Pearson did not immediately return phone calls.

Gowers presided over a turbulent period in the paper’s history. Declining circulation and investment in the paper’s Web site have contributed to huge losses in recent years, fueling speculation that Pearson, which draws the bulk of its income from its U.S. textbook and exam publishing wing, wanted to sell the paper. It sold its Spanish media business Recoletos last December.

Pearson said in an earnings statement Tuesday that it expects the paper to break even this year.

Gowers’ replacement Barber, 50, has been at the paper for 20 years, in which time he has been a Washington correspondent and U.S. editor, Brussels bureau chief, news editor, and editor of the Financial Times’ European edition. He moved to New York as the paper’s U.S. managing editor in 2002.

“Around the world, the FT’s reputation has never been higher,” said Barber in a statement Thursday. “Accurate, credible and thoughtful news, comment and analysis have always been the FT’s hallmark and the source of our special relationship with readers.”

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