Scardino prepares to quit Nokia after leaving Pearson

  • @mrjamesashton

Days after announcing her departure from the helm of Financial Times owner Pearson, Dame Marjorie Scardino is preparing to give up a second high-profile role.

Next spring, the first female boss in the FTSE 100 will retire from the troubled mobile phone-maker Nokia. Scardino has sat on the Finnish firm’s board since 2001, acting as vice-chairman since 2007.

In that time, Nokia has gone from being the world’s leading handset-maker to being overshadowed by Apple’s iPhone. Nokia has tried to revive itself but the glitzy launch of its latest Lumia handsets in New York last month was greeted with mixed headlines.

Scardino’s 16-year reign at Pearson will end in December, when she hands over to John Fallon. She will still chair the MacArthur Foundation, an American charity that funds digital learning.

Pearson was founded by Weetman Pearson, later Lord Cowdray, who amassed a fortune from oil prospecting and building railways. When Scardino took over it was a conglomerate, but she stripped it down to focus on education.

Since 1997, Pearson’s sales have tripled to nearly £6bn, as have profits, which reached a record £942m last year when Scardino was awarded £9.6m in cash and shares.