Pearson chief's pay breaks pounds 1m barrier

MARJORIE SCARDINO'S pay package as chief executive of Pearson rose 39 per cent to break the pounds 1m barrier last year, according to the media group's annual report.

Ms Scardino's remuneration went up from pounds 752,000 to pounds 1,043,000, which included a bonus for 1998 of pounds 545,000.

Greg Dyke, the chairman and chief executive of Pearson Television, saw his package double from pounds 371,000 to pounds 768,000, due mostly to a bonus of pounds 480,000.

David Veit, who retired after 25 years with Pearson, including 17 years on the board, was paid pounds 721,000, up from pounds 392,000 the year previously.

This included pounds 331,000 as compensation for the early termination of his contract on 1 May 1998.

Total pay for the Pearson board rose from pounds 2,510,000 in 1997 to pounds 3,975,000 last year.

During the year, Pearson sold assets worth pounds 1bn, including the Tussauds Group, making a profit on disposals of pounds 215m. The group also bought Simon & Schuster for pounds 2.2bn.

Operating profit rose from pounds 328m to pounds 389m, and the group increased its annual dividend payout by 8 per cent to 21p per share.

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