With Scardino’s exit, whither the FT?
October 4, 2012
During her 15-year tenure heading up Pearson, the conglomerate that is focused on educational services but also owns Penguin and The Financial Times, Marjorie Scardino championed the newspaper, once saying the company would sell it “over my dead body.”
But with Scardino announcing her exit yesterday, it may be time to reconsider publishing’s place with Pearson.
The company has promoted John Fallon, who had presided over educational efforts outside North America, to take her place, and many are urging him to consider divesting Pearson of its non-core assets, such as the FT, which has long been a point of pride at the company but not a big money maker.
Analysts say that Pearson would be better served selling off the paper and investing the money back into its education units, funding a drive to become the leader in the top 20 worldwide educational markets, a goal that Scardino long touted, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Two companies rumored to be interested in the FT are Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. Penguin could also be sold off.
Yesterday Fallon praised Penguin and the FT as “highly successful businesses in their own right,” but he would not comment on plans to sell them.
As for Scardino, she said yesterday that she won’t retire, following 15 years as chief executive. But she has not decided yet what her next step will be.
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