Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, Pearson is the largest education company and the largest book publisher in the world. Pearson is organized into three main business groupings: (1) Pearson Education (digital learning, education publishing and services including Poptropica and eCollege; (2) Financial Times (FT) Group (business information, including the Financial Times newspaper); and (3) Penguin Group (consumer publishing, including the Dorling Kindersley and Penquin Classics imprints). In late 2011, Pearson acquired Global Education and Technology Group. In 2012, Pearson acquired Certiport, Inc., Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI), and EmbanetCompass.
In late 2012, Pearson agreed to merge its Penguin Books division with Bertelsmann’s Random House to create the world’s biggest book publisher, a newly created joint venture named Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann will own 53 percent of the joint venture and Pearson will own 47 percent. The joint venture excludes Bertelsmann’s trade publishing business in Germany and Pearson retains rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide. The newly formed company is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals but is expected to complete in the second half of 2013.
In October 2013, Harish Manwani joined the board of directors of Pearson. Harish is Chief Operating Officer of the global consumer products company Unilever. Harish is a graduate from Bombay University and holds a Masters degree in management studies. Pearson chairman Glen Moreno said: “Harish brings to Pearson a deep knowledge of emerging markets, an understanding of the rapidly growing middle class in those countries, and senior experience in a successful global organization. This background is very relevant to our transformation of Pearson into the world’s leading learning company.” Harish replaces Dr. Susan Fuhrman on the Pearson board; Susan is President of Teachers College, Columbia University. Pearson also recently announced another appointment to its board, Linda Lorimer, Vice President of Yale University.
Founded by Samuel Pearson in 1844, Pearson originally was a building and engineering firm operating under the name of S. Pearson & Son. In 1880, control passed to grandson Weetman Pearson, an engineer later known as Lord Cowdray, who in 1890 moved the business to London and turned it into one of the world’s largest construction companies. Pearson was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1969. Pearson acquired Penguin Books in 1970 and Ladybird Books in 1972.
During the 1990s, Pearson acquired a number of TV production and broadcasting assets and sold most of its nonmedia assets, under the leadership of future U.S. Congressman Bob Turner. Pearson acquired the education division of Simon & Schuster in 1998 from Viacom and merged it with its own education unit, Addison-Wesley Longman, to form Pearson Education.
In 2000, Pearson acquired National Computer Systems and entered the educational assessment and school management systems market in the United States. That same year, Pearson acquired Dorling Kindersley, the illustrated reference publisher and integrated it within Penguin. In 2006, Pearson acquired National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (NES; Amherst, MA), a provider of customized state assessments for teacher certification in the USA. Pearson completed the acquisition of Harcourt Assessment in 2008, merging the acquired businesses into Pearson Assessment & Information. In that same year, Pearson acquired eCollege, a digital learning technology group for $477M. In 2011, Pearson created the Pearson College, a British degree provider based in London and Manchester. Also that year, Pearson acquired Connections Education.
In late 2012, Pearson acquired KEV Group, the North American leader in the management and accounting of school activity funds and online payments. KEV Group’s School Cash Suite of products manage all aspects of every dollar that comes into secondary schools. Whether cash, check, or an online transaction, KEV’s products help more than 4,000 schools reduce fraud and significantly decrease their workload. Limiting cash in a