By Kate Holton
LONDON (Reuters) – Shareholders in educational publisher Pearson <PSON.L> sanctioned the appointment of former Disney executive Andy Bird as CEO on Friday, accepting the need for a multimillion-pound pay packet to secure his services.
The British company had to get the backing of shareholders to offer Bird a co-investment opportunity worth up to $9.3 million, a move it said was necessary to secure a “rare” talent whose experience fitted with Pearson’s requirements.
Of votes cast, 67% backed the move and Bird will take over as chief executive on Oct. 19.
“During this process, we have undertaken extensive engagement with our shareholders, in which Andy has been recognised as an outstanding candidate,” Sidney Taurel, Chair of Pearson, said.
Although Bird does not have direct experience in education, he has been on Pearson’s board since May and helped develop Disney’s direct-to-consumer strategy.
Pearson has endured a tumultuous four years