RM promotes insider to replace Girling as chief

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RM, which supplies technology and computers to schools and colleges, promoted Tim Pearson yesterday to the role of chief executive, parting company with the highly regarded Richard Girling.

Mr Girling, who had been with RM for some 20 years but had been chief executive since 1997, said simply that he had always planned to step down "around this time".

"Whilst I've no specific plans for the future, I do know I'm ready to do something different. At the age of 50, there's still plenty of time for new challenges," he said.

Mr Pearson, who has worked at RM since leaving university in 1981, officially becomes chief executive on 2 April. He will, however, take over operational responsibility immediately.

The handover, which comes just four months after RM's shock profit warning, got a mixed reception from the investment community with many expressing regret that Mr Girling was leaving but welcoming the appointment of a company insider.

RM, which said Mr Girling had voiced his plan to step down last summer, had considered a wide range of internal and external candidates. Shares in the company ended up 0.9 per cent at 272.5p.