Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 3592W
Pearson PLC
22 April 2021

Pearson Succession Planning and Board Changes


LONDON, APRIL 22, 2021: Pearson plc today announces an update on succession planning and additional forthcoming Board changes.


Chair Succession


Sidney Taurel has informed the Board of his intention to retire as Chair and step down from the Board in due course, no later than the 2022 Annual General Meeting.


Pearson Chair, Sidney Taurel said: "It's long been my intention that, with a new Chief Executive firmly in place and with strong foundations from which Pearson can grow, I would plan to step down from the Board. The Nomination & Governance Committee will establish a process, led by the Senior Independent Director, to identify and appoint my successor.


"Pearson has made good progress over the past few years in transforming to become a more focused, digital learning company. In Andy Bird we have a new Chief Executive with a clear and exciting vision for the future, supported by a refreshed Board and a strengthened senior management team. The unveiling of our new strategy in March 2021 provides clarity regarding the future direction of the company and a platform from which we can deliver sustainable growth, creating value for all stakeholders. With good initial progress being made on the execution of this strategy I believe this year is the right time to conduct a search for a new Chair for Pearson's next chapter."


Director Appointment


Pearson today also announces the appointment of Annette Thomas as an independent Non-Executive Director, with effect from October 1, 2021. Annette will join the Reputation & Responsibility Committee and the Nomination & Governance Committee of the Pearson Board.


Annette has a 25-year track record in leading global publishing and data analytics businesses, across academic, educational and consumer media verticals. She is currently CEO of Guardian Media Group, a position she has held since March 2020. Prior to this, Annette was CEO of the Web of Science Group at Clarivate Analytics, a data, analytics and software business focused on research and higher education. She has also served as CEO for various operations of Macmillan Publishers, including Nature Publishing Group, Digital Science, Digital Education and, latterly, Macmillan Science & Education.


Annette began her career as an editor of the scientific journal Nature after securing a BSc in biochemistry and biophysics degree at Harvard University and, subsequently, a PhD in neuroscience and cell biology at Yale University.


She currently serves as a trustee of Yale University. Her previous non-executive experience includes serving as non-executive director at Clarivate Analytics (2017), and as a Board member for Cambridge University Press and OCR, part of Cambridge Assessment (2019-2020). She has also previously acted as an advisor to Creative Commons and Bain Capital.


Pearson Chair, Sidney Taurel said: "Annette is a proven and highly impressive CEO and Board member who has a great depth of relevant experience operating within the learning, digital and consumer media sectors. Her extensive data and analytics experience will be invaluable to Pearson as we aim to broaden our digital footprint and reach more consumers globally. Annette's expertise and perspective adds further strength and depth to our Board as we pursue exciting opportunities identified through our direct-to-consumer strategy."


Annette Thomas said: "I am relishing the opportunity to join the Board at Pearson, particularly given my background in media, education and the broader world of learning. I am motivated by working for mission-driven organisations and I look forward to helping Pearson realise its purpose of enabling people to achieve their potential through learning."


There is no further information to be declared in accordance with LR 9.6.13.


Changes to Key Board Roles


In addition to the Board changes noted above, following the planned retirement of Vivienne Cox, CBE at Pearson's upcoming Annual General Meeting ("AGM") after serving nine years on the Board, the following changes will be made in respect of key Board roles:

·    Tim Score, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee, will additionally be appointed Senior Independent Director

·    Sidney Taurel, Chair of the Board, will additionally be appointed as Chair of the Nomination & Governance Committee

·    Sherry Coutu, CBE, Non-Executive Director, will take on the role of Pearson's Designated Non-Executive Director responsible for workforce engagement.


The above changes will take effect from the conclusion of Pearson's AGM on Friday 30 April 2021. As noted above, the process to appoint a new Chair of the Board will be led by Tim Score as the new Senior Independent Director.


This notification is made in accordance with LR 9.6.11.






Investor Relations

Jo Russell

Anjali Kotak

Teddy Symington

+44 (0) 7785 451 266

+44 (0) 7802 890 724

+44 (0) 7443 354 088


Tom Steiner

Gemma Terry

+44 (0) 7787 415 891

+44 (0) 7841 363 216


Charles Armitstead

+44 (0) 7703 330 269


Notes to editors

Details of the full Pearson board of directors can be found at:


About Pearson
Learning is the most powerful force for change in the world. More than 20,000 Pearson employees deliver our products and services in nearly 200 countries, all working towards a common purpose - to help everyone achieve their potential through learning. We do that by providing high quality, digital content and learning experiences, as well as assessments and qualifications that help people build their skills and grow with the world around them. We are the world's leading learning company. Learn more at and @Pearsonplc.



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