Dame Marjorie 'queen' Of UK Business

July 17, 2002

Britain's most powerful woman? Not Queen Elizabeth, not Cherie Booth, but Baylor's own Marjorie Scardino -- so named by the UK magazine Management Today.
A 1969 graduate, Scardino is chief executive officer of Pearson plc, a London-based international media and publishing empire. She was ranked first in the magazine's recently published "Britain's 50 Most Powerful Women" list. Booth, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, came in second.
The magazine said of Scardino: "Despite tough times for Pearson, where profits fell '39m last year, Scardino's position as queen of UK plc remains unassailable." The publication adds that she is "still the only female CEO" of one of the United Kingdom's top 100 companies.
Earlier this year, Scardino became a British citizen and in February was invested as a Dame Commander of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace.
In January 2000, Scardino was honored as one of Baylor's Distinguished Alumni. Born in Flagstaff, Ariz., she was reared in Texarkana, the daughter of Robert Morris, a defense plant engineer, and his wife, Beth. Scardino received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Baylor and a law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1975.
Her first job was at the Associated Press in Washington, D.C., where she met the man she would marry, Albert Scardino, a reporter for the wire service. Later, the couple started a weekly newspaper in Georgia. In 1985, she became head of North American operations for the British magazine The Economist. Her notable success in that role led to her appointment in the 1990s as chief executive officer of the Pearson group, which employs thousands of people in more than 60 countries. The corporation owns the Financial Times and Penguin Publishing.