Friday, May 24, 2013

Pearson makes "significant changes" to structure

Pearson has revealed “significant changes” to its organisational structure and appointed a new leadership team in a bid to accelerate its advances into digital learning, education services and emerging markets.
The changes will be implemented to capitalise on “significant growth opportunities” in those three areas, the company said this morning (23rd May).

Under the new structure, Pearson will concentrate on two streams—global lines of business and geographic market categories. The global lines of business will centre around the School, Higher Education and Professional areas and the geographic streams will focus on North American market, Growth markets and Core markets, according to a statement from the company.

The changes will come into effect on 1st January 2014 and from then onwards, Pearson will report sales and profits by both lines of business and geography separately “to provide investors with greater insight into business trends and performance”. In 2012, digital and service businesses contributed 50% of Pearson’s sales, while emerging economies made up 16% of the company's sales on a continuing basis.

John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson [pictured], said: "This new organisation structure flows directly from the strategy that we set out earlier this year. It is designed to make Pearson more digital, more services-oriented, more focused on emerging economies and more accountable for learning outcomes. This is a significant change in the way we run the company that will take time and sustained commitment, but it is one we must make to be able to accelerate the execution of our global education strategy."

Pearson has also announced a new leadership team. Rod Bristow, currently president of Pearson UK, will lead Pearson’s Core markets strand from January 2014. Doug Kubach, currently chief executive of Pearson's assessment and instruction group in North America, will lead the School business.

Tim Bozik, currently chief executive of Pearson's US Higher Education business, will run Higher Education. John Ridding, chief executive of the Financial Times, will take on leadership of the Professional business. Don Kilburn, vice-chairman of Pearson Higher Education North America and chief executive of Pearson Learning Solutions will run North America and Tamara Minick-Scokalo, president of Pearson Europe, Middle East and Africa will run the new Growth markets category.

Global lines of business will have primary responsibility for strategy and product development, while Geographies have primary responsibility for customer relationships, sales, marketing and product delivery, Pearson said.

However, as a result of the new structure, Will Ethridge, currently chief executive of Pearson North America, will step down from his role and from the Pearson Board on 31st December but continue to work for Pearson in an advisory capacity. Genevieve Shore, currently Pearson chief technology officer, will take on a new role as chief product and marketing officer.

Glen Moreno, chairman of Pearson, said: "North American Education has been a powerhouse for Pearson for many years and Will has been at the heart of its success. He has developed a strong team of executives and ensured they are ready to take on these new responsibilities. We thank him for his significant contribution to Pearson as a leader and board director."

In February this year, Pearson announced a new strategic framework for the company, while revealing it would spend £150m in restructuring costs in 2013. At the time, the publisher warned it planned to "significantly accelerate" the shift of its education businesses towards fast-growing economies in the developing world, and towards digital and services businesses.

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