Appoints Media Executive Lynne Frank and Tech Executive Ishantha Lokuge as Co-Presidents to lead the new unit
LONDON, 18th NOVEMBER, 2020: Pearson, the world's leading learning company, today announces the creation of a new direct-to-consumer division as it looks to further strengthen its focus on building a direct relationship with learners around the world.
The new division will be co-led by two senior executives: Ishantha Lokuge joined Pearson from Shutterfly last year and now steps up to the role of Chief Global Product Officer and Co-President, Direct-to-Consumer.
Lynne Frank, most recently President of International Marketing and Worldwide Planning and Operations at Warner Bros. Pictures, joins Pearson as Chief Marketing Officer and Co-President – Direct-to-Consumer. Together, Ishantha and Lynne will lead the new division focused on direct-to-consumer products and channels, and will report to Andy Bird, Chief Executive.
Andy Bird, Chief Executive of Pearson, said: “With the accelerating interest in digital learning across the globe, we need to meet consumers where they are. By doing this, we will be able to seize an incredible opportunity to have a direct relationship with millions of lifelong learners.
“These additions to my executive team bring with them a wealth of experience in the direct-to-consumer landscape, exceptional business acumen and proven track records of delivery and success. Their energy, expertise and innovative thinking will help drive forward Pearson’s momentum as we enter a new era for the company.”
Ishantha Lokuge said: “As the global market for online learning and digital skills continues to grow, I am excited to continue progress towards our ambitious vision of building a direct-to-consumer business. The innovative digital products we create empower people to improve their lives around the world.”
Lynne Frank said: “It’s an incredible time to be joining Pearson. The opportunities that digital learning present in a world going through radical change and transformation are immense. The potential for education technology to innovate and meet this moment - of a growing need and desire for new forms of content and distribution channels - could not be more relevant. Throughout my career, I have focused on engaging and serving millions of consumers across the globe and continuing to do that in this dynamic and important sphere is exciting”.
Since joining Pearson, Ishantha has spearheaded the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy and has helped re-imagine and launch multiple digital product initiatives. He has more than 20 years of Silicon Valley experience, leading product, user experience, technology and strategy teams across various consumer technology companies such as Shutterfly, eBay and Healtheon/WebMD. He holds degrees in computer science from Brandeis and Tufts, as well as a graduate degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.
Lynne has over 25 years of experience in the media industry, having held leadership positions at Warner Bros., ESPN/Disney and Turner Broadcasting. Throughout her career she has held executive roles in business strategy, general management, marketing, brand management, business development, and operations. Lynne has unique experience in the global media marketplace with success overseeing consumer focused creative businesses. She holds a degree in economics and business, and a certificate in corporate board governance from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
We are the world’s leading learning company with more than 22,500 employees operating in 70 countries. We provide content, assessment and digital services to learners, educational institutions, employers, governments and other partners globally. We are committed to helping equip learners with the skills they need to enhance their employability prospects and to succeed in the changing world of work. We believe that wherever learning flourishes so do people. Visit www.pearson.com.
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