OLD Media Moves

Shakeup at the Financial Times

May 15, 2006

Pearson plc, the London-based owner of The Financial Times, is shaking up the management at the newspaper in the wake of lackluster performance at the business newspaper, Reuters is reporting.

Reuters reporter Jeffrey Goldfarb reports that Chief Financial Officer Rona Fairhead will run the newspaper operations “after its flagship Financial Times struggled for four years to return to profit.

Olivier Fleurot, 54, who had been chief executive of the FT’s publishing businesses, will move to the corporate parent to develop digital strategies for the group, which includes textbooks from Pearson Education and general-interest books from Penguin.

“London-based Pearson, the world’s biggest educational publisher, has long been under pressure from some investors to sell the pink-sheeted business newspaper, though Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino has vowed not to do so.

The Financial Times“‘They’re obviously tightening up the FT to get it to perform better, or there’s a slim chance they’re lining it up for a sale,’ said Johnathan Barrett, an analyst with Williams de Broe.

“‘Pearson is definitely trying to shake it up and get some improved performance — they’re targeting a 15 percent mid-cycle margin and I have them at about 7-8 percent now — and Rona will have a good eyeball for the costs and what structural things can be done to improve it,’ he added.

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