Chairman of Pearson quits in row over chief exec’s lavish pay packet

Chairman of Pearson quits after clashing with shareholders over chief exec’s lavish pay packet

Pay row: Pearson’s chairman Sidney Taurel is stepping down

Pearson’s chairman is leaving after clashing with shareholders over the lavish pay packet handed to its chief executive.

Sidney Taurel’s decision to quit comes after the education publisher suffered an embarrassing shareholder revolt over its decision to give boss Andy Bird – who was appointed last year – up to £5.9million in annual pay, a ‘golden hello’ worth £7million and another £185,000 to go towards the rent of an apartment in New York.

The package provoked a backlash among shareholders, who said it was too generous and complained of being ‘held to ransom’ by the company.

Taurel said he planned to quit no later than the company’s 2022 annual general meeting. 

The 72-year-old said it had long been his intention to step down and that it was ‘the right time to conduct a search for a new chair’.

Advisory services ISS and Glass Lewis both urged shareholders to oppose Bird’s package.