Rona Fairhead, chief executive of Pearson’s Financial Times Group and a member of the board of directors of the London-based media conglomerate, will step down in April, reports Amy Chozick of the New York Times.
Chozick writes, “The departures of two executives who had championed the company’s print publishing assets, including The Financial Times newspaper, have fueled increased speculation that Pearson will seek to sell the rose-colored business daily, known as the FT, so that it can focus on its fast-growing education business.
“In October, Pearson reached an agreement with Bertelsmann, the German media company, to combine its Penguin publishing house with Random House. Under the agreement, which is still subject to approval from regulators, Bertelsmann would control 53 percent of the combined Penguin-Random House division.
“Among the companies that analysts have said could make a bid to acquire the FT are Thomson Reuters, which has an editorial staff of thousands, but no print publication. Bloomberg LP could also explore a purchase of the FT to help its journalism gain more exposure outside the financial terminal business. The company also owns Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine. Spokesmen for Reuters and Bloomberg declined to comment when previously asked about a potential bid for the publication.
“A Pearson spokesman, Charles Goldsmith, said Ms. Fairhead’s decision to leave Pearson was ‘completely unrelated to ownership of the FT.'”
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