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Pearson – New CEO As Bird Flies The Nest

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Pearson plc (LON:PSON)’s CEO, Andy Bird, is retiring after three years in the role. Bird will be replaced by Omar Abbosh, who has various experiences in technology roles, including at Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT). The change in leadership will come into effect in early 2024.

Pearson’s CEO Is Retiring

“Pearson has announced a changing of the guard as Andy Bird has decided to fly the nest. In a move that should please investors, the announcement comes hand in hand with a smooth succession plan and the timing isn’t one to set alarm bells off.

Bird hasn’t been in the top job for too long, but it’s been long enough to oversee a significant transformation of Pearson’s priorities in its bid to secure a more tech-focussed future. That said, investors rarely like to see a respected leader say goodbye, and there are clearly some initial nerves.

Omar Abbosh’s background in various tech leadership positions means the board is doubling down on plans to propel the education specialist into the next – very digital – chapter. While legacy declines in physical US course materials continue to be a hurdle that needs clearing, other efforts to drag its offerings online means performance has been steady of late.

The next catalyst for change will be the economic landscape. In the case of hard landings, Pearson could see a surge in people upskilling or continuing with education rather than finding work, which would play into the group’s hands.”

Article by Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown

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