Oxford University Press has announced his retirement from his post effective October 2013. John joined the OED editorial staff in 1976, and became co-editor with Edmund Weiner in 1985. He was appointed chief editor in 1993, the seventh OED editor since Sir James Murray’s appointment in 1879. Under John’s editorship, over 60,000 new words and meanings have been added to the OED.
For more than 35 years John has contributed to one of the world's largest and longest-running scholarly projects during a time of great change. During the 1980s the entire OED text, comprising the First Edition (1884-1928) and its Supplement (1972-86), was digitized as an integrated single text. This work laid the foundations for the publication of the twenty-volume Second Edition in 1989 and the launch of OED Online in 2000.
Effective 1 November 2013, Michael Proffitt, the current editorial project director, will serve as chief editor of OED, responsible for leading decision-making on style, policy, and strategy. Philip Durkin, currently principal etymologist, will become eeputy chief editor alongside existing Deputy Chief Editor Edmund Weiner
My headline comes from an interview with John published in Time, which you can read here.