- David Astor (1948–1975)
- Donald Trelford (1975–1993)
- Jonathan Fenby (1993–1995)
- Andrew Jaspan (1995–1996)
- Will Hutton (1996–1998)
- Roger Alton (1998–2007)
- John Mulholland (2008–)
In 1977 Robert O. Anderson "was the man who first saved the Observer (now owned by Guardian Media Group) and then delivered it into the hands of its most controversial owner, Lonrho, headed by Roland "Tiny" Rowland.
"Arco's acquisition of the Observer newspaper in 1977 was, Anderson believed, an act of corporate responsibility. The newspaper, then owned by the Astor family, was in dire financial straits. One of the paper's senior journalists, seeking a buyer, explained the situation to an American acquaintance, who in turn contacted Anderson. Within a few days, Arco bought the paper and pledged $10m to keep it afloat.
"Three years later, in 1980, Arco's foundation took another step into publishing when, jointly with the MacArthur Foundation, it rescued Harper's magazine, which was planning to print its last issue. As with the Observer, financial support was pledged to tide the magazine over.
"Arco owned the Observer for four years, with Anderson growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress achieved in getting to grips with the print unions. It was this, coupled with Thornton Bradshaw's decision to leave Arco, that led him to sell the newspaper to Lonrho in February 1981.
"The sale earned Anderson a great deal of criticism, not least because the deal was effectively done over the heads of management. However, Arco did retain a 15% interest and he remained on the board as chairman until 1985." 
Resources and articles
- Office of Net Assessment, The Guardian, Bretton Woods Project
- Julian Huxley
- Clement Freud - former journalist
- Terence Bendixson - former journalist (environment)
- Allister Sparks
- Paul Myners
- Lord Bullock of Leafield - former trustee
- Roger Harrison - former chief executive
- Richard Willson
- Jess Watts - former MD
- Kenneth Tynan 
- Mike Cassell - former chief political correspondent
- Lucy Heller - former General Manager
- Lord Shawcross - former director (1981-93)