Marjorie Scardino has stepped down as chief executive of Financial Times owners Pearson after 16 years at the helm
Scardino joined Pearson as chief executive on 1 January 1999 and has seen sales treble to almost £6bn during her time in charge with profits reaching a record high of £942m in 2011, according to the company.
In a statement Pearson said:
At a time of profound change in the media and publishing industries, she has overseen the successful movement of the company from traditional print publishing businesses to digital and services businesses.
This year, Pearson expects to generate more than half its revenues from digital and services businesses for the first time in its history.
The company, which also owns the book publisher Penguin, announced that Scardino will be replaced on 1 January by John Fallon, the chief executive of Pearson's International Education division since 2008.
For more than 160 years, Pearson has stood for integrity, quality and business strength. It has been a privilege to be part of such a great company for a small part of its history.
Though we've changed the company beyond recognition from its form in 1997, we are still in the foothills of the climb to make all kinds of learning more accessible and more effective for more people.
I know that John, the board, the senior team and our 40,000 people have the bravery, imagination and decency to lead the company to new ways of achieving these goals, while holding on to the traditions and values that make Pearson unique.
Marjorie's legacy is a company with a strong performance record, a deep commitment to its wider social purpose and a unique culture. I am proud to be part of the company; it is a tremendous honour and responsibility to be asked to lead it.
Pearson has a clear position of leadership in global learning and publishing, with strong foundations for growth in technology, services and developing economies. Our challenge is to seize those opportunities in an era of tremendous industry change.