Pope John Paul II voted most influential European of the last 25 years

  • Daniel Vasella, Chairman and CEO of Novartis voted most influential European business person of the last 25 years.
  • FT publishes poll in commemorative magazine to mark the 25th anniversary of its European edition.

Pope John Paul II has been voted the most influential European of the last 25 years, followed closely by Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher. The poll was conducted by the Financial Times to mark the 25th anniversary of the FT's European edition, and the results are highlighted in a special commemorative issue of the Financial Times magazine, published on Saturday 27th March.

Over 40,000 votes were cast in the polls, which also named Daniel Vasella,  Chairman and Chief Executive of Novartis, as the most influential European business person of the last 25 years. Heinrich von Pierer, Chief Executive of Siemens and Michael O'Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair came second and third respectively.  The poll winners will also appear in an interactive online gallery on FT.com. (www.ft.com/european)

The special, 112-page issue of the FT Magazine (usually available only in the UK) will be distributed with the Weekend FT across the UK and Continental Europe. The magazine will focus on the changing face of European business, politics and society over the past 25 years, the challenges associated with European enlargement, common currency and constitution, and Europe's battle to address the conflicting aspirations of its member states. Special features include an interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, a consumer's guide to European wine, food and fashion, and a 'Then & Now' series on 25 years of European cinema, music, architecture, sport and literature.

The 'New Europeans' section is a 16-page pictorial feature on some of the most talented individuals who are shaping the face of Europe. The section is sponsored by the Sector Skills Development Agency in the UK edition of the magazine, and by BT in the European edition.   

Andrew Gowers, Editor of the Financial Times commented:
"This is a special anniversary for us. In the last 25 years, we've developed a domestic UK business newspaper into a truly global business news organisation, with 4 editions, covering the UK, Europe, the US and Asia, and the world's leading business website in FT.com. Two thirds of our circulation is now outside the UK, and as Europe's business newspaper, we provide the best insight, comment and analysis of European business and political issues "

The international edition was first printed in Frankfurt in 1979 and later developed into a specifically dedicated European edition. The Financial Times now has 7 print sites in Europe and 22 across the world.

Olivier Fleurot, Chief Executive of the Financial Times Group, said:
"The Financial Times has seen rapid global expansion since we launched our first international edition, culminating in the launch of an Asia edition last year. The past 25 years have seen an enormous shift in Europe's political and economic landscape, and Europe's decisions-makers are increasingly reliant on the FT's unrivalled coverage of international issues."


The FT is firmly established as one of the world's leading business information brands, internationally recognised for its authoritative, accurate, and incisive news, comment and analysis. Whether in print or online, the Financial Times is essential reading for the global business community. The FT publishes four editions : for the UK, Continental Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific.Printed in twenty-two sites across the world, the Financial Times newspaper currently has a circulation of over 435,000 copies worldwide, and a readership of over 1.6 million. FT.com's 3.7 million unique monthly users generate over 60 million monthly page views, delivering a premium audience to advertisers. FT.com now has over 74,000 subscribers.

Further information

Joanna Manning-Cooper/Katy Hemmings: 020 7873 4447 / 020 7873 3811