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Will Pearson put Financial Times up for sale?

Published on Oct 3, 2012 6:28 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Pearson chief executive Marjorie Scardino will step down after 16 years, potentially clearing the way for her successor at the global educational and media group to sell the Financial Times (FT) newspaper.

The first female chief executive of a FTSE 100 company had previously declared that the famous pink-paged FT title would only be sold "over my dead body". The FT Group also holds a 50 per cent stake in the Economist.

She will step down at the end of the year to be replaced by Mr John Fallon, the chief executive of Pearson's international education division since 2008. Analysts said the choice showed where the group's priorities lie and that Mr Fallon would now have to also focus on the large education business in the United States, which has been hit by tight school budgets.

"Ms Scardino was a big fan of the FT and resisted attempts to sell the business," Mr Ian Whittaker at Liberum said. "We see John Fallon as having no emotional commitment to the division.."

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