Pearson has named Sidney Taurel as its new chairman, to replace Glen Moreno who is stepping down after a decade at the helm.
Taurel is the former chief and chairman of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, and boasts close ties to American politics.
He served as a member of George Bush's Homeland Security Advisory Council, Export Council and Trade Policy and Negotiations Committee during his Presidency.
"We are delighted to have in Sidney a new chair with strong experience of global business and markets, used to leading in a complex regulatory environment," said Moreno, who will step down at the end of the year.
Of his appointment, 66-year-old Taurel said: "This is an important time to be joining the world's leading education company. Pearson has a great purpose at its heart - to help more people progress in their lives through learning."
Taurel, born in Morocco but now an American citizen, spent 37 years at Eli Lilly, starting out in 1971. He's currently a board director and compensation committee chairman at IBM and McGraw Hill Financial. He's also a senior advisor at investment bank Moelis & Co and an advisory board member at Takeda Pharmaceutical and Almirall.
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At Pearson Taurel faces an uphill struggle, even more so after the company off-loaded the FT Group and its stake in the Economist Group to focus on its education business.
"Piece by piece, Pearson’s legacy footprint is being taken apart and compounded by difficulties in adopting digital solutions," said Neil Campling, and analyst at Aviate Global after a profit warning last week, which triggered Pearson's biggest share price fall in nearly two decades.
It's just the latest in a string of profit warnings for the group.