Scholastic Chairman and CEO Richard Robinson, who oversaw the company’s emergence as a major force in educational and children’s publishing over nearly five decades, died unexpectedly over the weekend.
Robinson, who was 84, had been in good health before he passed away, the firm said in an announcement.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dick Robinson,” Scholastic’s board said in a statement. “Dick was a true visionary in the world of children’s books and an unrelenting advocate for children’s literacy and education with a remarkable passion his entire life. The company’s directors and employees, as well as the many educators, parents and students whose lives he touched, mourn his loss.”
Scholastic was created 100 years ago, and is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, as well as a provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, classroom magazines, and other children’s media.
Scholastic’s Class A shareholders and board of directors will meet independently to select an interim operating head and chart the company’s direction, the announcement says.
In the meantime, a group of four executives will work to ensure that “day-to-day operations continue without interruption,” Scholastic said. They are James Barge, Scholastic’s lead independent director; Iole Lucchese, executive vice president and chief strategy officer; Andrew Hedden, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary; and Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Cleary.