Rona Fairhead, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Financial Times Group is to leave the firm next year, parent company Pearson announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Fairhead, who has been with Pearson for 12 years, is said to be pursuing "the next phase of her career outside Pearson".
"The leadership transition at Pearson makes this a natural moment for me to make a change," Fairhead said in a statement.
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"I will miss Pearson deeply but will cheer from the sidelines as its new leadership team develops and evolves Pearson's successful strategy and culture. I am very proud to have been part of it, but am ready to tackle a new set of challenges."
She intends to step down from the board at the Pearson annual general meeting in April 2013.
The move follows the surprise resignation of long-running Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino which was announced at the beginning of October. She will leave the board at the end of this year and will be replaced by the CEO of Pearson's International Education division John Fallon.
Commenting on Fairhead's decision, Scardino said: "For a little over a decade, Rona has been at the heart of Pearson's development and progress.
"[...] She has led a fundamental restructuring and refocusing of the FT Group, including its successful development of digital businesses, and leaves a strong organisation with a bright future in a highly challenging industry. She has been an exceptional executive and colleague and while we regret her decision to go, we respect her desire for a new challenge."
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