Pearson names Disney’s former boss as chief executive

Pearson has named Disney’s former international boss as its chief executive. 

The educational publisher has turned to Andy Bird to guide the company through its move to become a digital-first business. 

Bird, who has been on Pearson’s board since May, will take up the position later in the autumn. 

Looking ahead: The educational publisher has turned to Andy Bird to guide the company through its move to become a digital-first business

Looking ahead: The educational publisher has turned to Andy Bird to guide the company through its move to become a digital-first business

Looking ahead: The educational publisher has turned to Andy Bird to guide the company through its move to become a digital-first business

He spent several years as the chairman of Walt Disney International, turning the media giant into a digital-first business – an echo of the ambitions that Pearson has for itself. 

The 35-year industry veteran will be appointed once shareholders accept clauses in his pay package, which includes a more than 50 per cent rise in base salary compared to his predecessor John Fallon. 

His pay package also includes 16 per cent of his base salary, or £200,000, in cash in lieu of a pension, incentive plans, and money towards a flat in New York ‘to be used for business purposes’. 

Parts of the plan will need shareholder approval, and Bird’s appointment in mid-October will depend on this, a Pearson spokesman said. 

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