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February 28, 2005

Lord Stevenson to Quit Pearson

It was announced on Sunday that Lord Dennis Stevenson is to quit after eight years as chairman of publisher Pearson. "The board and I have naturally been discussing plans for my succession for some time and this is a good moment to formalise the process," he said, adding that the world's largest education publisher was in "excellent shape" and was "looking forward to some very good years". Reports prior to the announcement claimed Lord Stevenson, who turns 60 this year, was giving up the post before becoming the target of criticism that he had stayed too long - he joined the board in 1986 and became chairman in 1997. The company, which also publishes the Financial Times, was to announce full-year financial results today. These were expected to include a drop in profits of 6% to £3.82 billion, largely due to the weak US dollar. There is speculation that the company, made up of Pearson Education, the FT, and the Penguin Group, might consider disposing of Penguin.

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