Oxford English Dictionary chief editor John Simpson has decided to retire in October 2013.
Simpson has been a member of the editorial staff at the celebrated dictionary since 1976. He assumed the chief editor post in 1993, only the seventh editor to hold that prestigious post since 1879. During his time at the post, a staggering 60,000 new words and meanings have been added to the dictionary.
Editorial project director Michael Proffitt will assume the chief editor post in November. Principal etymologist Philip Durkin will serve as deputy chief editor alongside current deputy chief editor Edmund Weiner.
Chief Executive of Oxford University Press, CEO Nigel Portwood had this statement:
Simpson has made a truly outstanding contribution to the OED, and also to the English language, over the 37 years that he has been at Oxford University Press. As well as devising and overseeing the enormously important revision of the third edition, he has pioneered the use of digital technology in both the production and use of the OED, transforming the dictionary into a resource fit for the 21st century. His achievements put the OED in a fantastic position to continue to thrive and to meet the opportunities in the ever-changing lexical landscape.