David Wan Appointed Penguin Group President

David Wan, chief financial officer of the Penguin group, Pearson plc's global consumer publishing business, has today been appointed to a new role as President, responsible for the business operations, financial performance and strategic development of the Penguin group, effective immediately.

Mr Wan's appointment follows the announcement that Penguin group Chairman/CEO Michael Lynton is to leave the group later this month to join America Online Inc. as President of its international operations.

Mr Wan will report to Marjorie Scardino, Pearson plc's chief executive, and work closely with the chief executives of Penguin's three primary operating companies - Phyllis Grann, of Penguin Putnam Inc., Anthony Forbes Watson, of Penguin UK, and Peter Field, of Penguin Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

Since joining the Penguin group as CFO in 1998, Mr Wan has led, with Mr Lynton, the transformation of the company's commercial, publishing and distribution operations and the development of its internet and publishing strategies. Before Penguin, he worked for Simon & Schuster for 9 years in a number of publishing, strategy and financial roles, including two years as President of its US school publishing business, acquired by Pearson in November 1998.

Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson plc, said:

"Michael Lynton leaves the Penguin group in good creative and commercial health. 1999 has been a strong year in terms of sales and profits, best-selling titles and literary awards. Michael is the first to acknowledge that he shares the credit with a highly talented management team, a company full of very able and creative people and the best slate of authors in the business.

At Penguin and Simon & Schuster, David Wan has proved that he can bring both a strong commercial focus to the publishing business and work effectively with some of the very best creative talent. We are confident that the Penguin group, led by David and his colleagues, is in great shape to build on its recent success and to be imaginative about how to invent the book business of the future."

David Wan said, "I am delighted to have the chance to lead the Penguin group at what is an exciting time for consumer publishing worldwide. Penguin's publishing platform of new and established authors is stronger than it has been for many years and we aim to build on that. We also aim to continue to expand the power and reach of the Penguin brand and capitalise on the technology revolution that is transforming the way books are produced and sold."

Notes

David Wan was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Penguin Group in 1998. Prior to joining Penguin, Mr Wan was President of Simon & Schuster's US school publishing business. He held other senior positions at Simon & Schuster, including Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning and Corporate Development. He joined Simon & Schuster from Salomon Brothers and he has also held planning and financial positions at Paine Webber and PepsiCo Inc. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Harvard Business School.

The Penguin group is one of the world's most renowned English language publishers. It publishes in all consumer formats for all English language markets, with pre-eminent market positions in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India. Its imprints include the Penguin Classics series, Michael Joseph, Hamish Hamilton, Viking, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Riverhead Books, Berkley Books, Allen Lane, Dutton, Plume, Puffin, Ladybird and Frederick Warne. It combines a strong front list of new books with a deep back-list of more than 25,000 titles. Its websites include Penguin.com, PenguinPutnam.com and Penguinclassics.com. In the 6 months to 30 June 1999, it increased sales by 13% to £263m ($423m) and operating profits doubled to £31m ($50m.)

In addition to the Penguin group, the major business operations of Pearson plc are the Financial Times group, the leading international source of strategic business information and analysis; Pearson Education, the world's leading education company; and Pearson Television, the world's leading independent television production business.

For further information

Pearson plc

 

John Fallon

 

+44 (0)20 7411 2310


john.fallon@pearson.com

Penguin group

 

Marilyn Ducksworth

 

+ 1 212 366 2564

 

Nicky Stonehill

 

+ 44 (0)20 7416 3259