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Pearson Appoints Former Direct-to-Consumer Head of Disney as New Chief

Sam Arnold

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Pearson Appoints Former Direct-to-Consumer Head of Disney as New Chief

Former Disney executive Andy Bird will be the next CEO of British publisher Pearson.

International education publishing firm Pearson PLC on Monday announced their newest CEO—former Disney executive Andy Bird. The new leadership will take effect on October 19, the time his predecessor John Fallon, incumbent chief, will exit the post.

Leader Shift

The London-based education publisher also announced that its current CEO Fallon will remain with the company as advisor for the rest of the year upon his step down. Meanwhile, Pearson also noted that Bird is a non-executive director at the company. He was appointed to the board earlier this year.

Potential

In addition to Bird assuming chief executive role, he is also set to purchase $3.75 million worth of shares from the company. Pearson disclosed the pay Bird will get: an annual base salary of $1.25 million for until at least the year 2023.

Bird said in a statement that he was excited with this opportunity. He said that he saw enormous potential in the businesses of the company since he joined the Board. “I believe we have exciting prospects ahead and I look forward to playing my part in shaping the future of the company, with the leadership team, to unlock our full potential and achieve sustainable growth for all our stakeholders.”

‘Excellent Track Record’

“We are delighted to have secured someone of Andy’s calibre,” Pearson chair Sidney Taurel stated. “Andy brings a wealth of international consumer experience, as well as significant expertise in building brands, transformational change, and driving digital innovation.”

Part of Bird’s past experiences include leading in the development of Disney’s direct-to-consumer efforts. The British exec has been in the media industry for 35 years, Pearson says, which include seniorship in Time Warner. Disney hired Bird in 2004, with which he initiated the shift of the company to a digital-first model.

In a press release, the publisher said: “Andy was at the forefront of digital change at Disney… He was at the root of Disney’s development of its direct-to-consumer strategy, marketing the company’s content as a service directly to the end user, which has become a key growth driver for the company.”

Arnold is a senior British tech reporter at Tekrati. Before joining Tekrati, Arnold worked as an editor for his University Newspaper, writing sharable content for a student audience. Sam loves movies, running, and anything written by Oliver Sacks. The drink he chose is tea, which he does not recommend in large quantities.

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