Snap Inc. Chairman, a Former Sony Entertainment CEO, to Join Pearson’s Board of Directors

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Michael Lynton
Michael Lynton

Education company Pearson recently named Michael Lynton, an experienced entertainment executive who is currently chairman of Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP), creator of the popular Snapchat image messaging app, to its board of directors.  Lynton will join the board in the wake of the company announcing job cuts as part of a corporate restructuring.

“The Pearson Board and leadership already have strong digital talent and expertise, and Michael’s appointment augments that perfectly,” the company’s chairman, Sidney Taurel, said in a statement. “His experience and perspective will further strengthen Pearson and drive our transformation to be a more focused, simpler digital learning company.” 

In August, Pearson announced that for the second time in less than two years, the global education company was planning to cut thousands of jobs as part of its ongoing restructuring.

The announcement, made as part of its half-year 2017 report to shareholders, outlines an effort to cut costs and increase efficiency as the educational publisher adapts to changing markets for its textbooks, courseware, and assessment products. The company said it will eliminate 3,000 full-time equivalent employees by the end of 2019—with a focus on managerial positions. That’s just over 9 percent of its workforce of 32,000, and follows a 10 percent reduction announced in January 2016.

Lynton was formerly chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment, a role he held for five years. Prior to that position, he served as chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment from 2002 to 2012. Lynton is currently a non-executive director on the board of Ares Management, and was formerly a non-executive director at Samsonite and Modern Times Group. Over his career, he has also held senior leadership roles at Penguin Group, The Walt Disney Company, and Time Warner.

In a statement, Lynton expressed confidence in Pearson’s future.

“I’m impressed by Pearson’s major investment in the products of the future and its creation of a single, global learning platform,” Lynton said. “Most importantly, Pearson has strong leadership and a clear vision.”

Lynton will join Pearson chief executive officer John Fallon, senior independent director and former BP executive vice president Vivienne Cox, and non-executive directors Linda Lorimer and Lincoln Wallen on Pearson’s board, effective Feb. 1, 2018.

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