Pearson Reviews | Glassdoor

Pearson Reviews

Updated April 27, 2017
316 reviews

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Pearson CEO John Fallon
John Fallon
169 Ratings

316 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Difficult to maintain work life balance (in 45 reviews)

  • During the last 4 years upper management changes too many times (in 102 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "The next Kodak..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I had been with Pearson on and off for the past 20 years. I gained valuable knowledge and experiences there, and I had the opportunity to work with some exceptional people and talent.

    Cons

    The publishing industry as a whole has been in steep decline over the past 5 years, if not longer. Pearson created new business models in an effort to keep their main business in higher education sustainable. However, due to poor management and in-fighting among very senior management in the US, they removed most of these other business models, which were bringing in millions of dollars, in an effort for what one can only view as "going back to the basics." Unfortunately, this company's future is very dim, as they are now on a ride to be the next Kodak. In the most recent lay-off in March 2017, they let go of approximately 100+ people, and they have left customers hanging and they have no idea how to fix or address outstanding commitments and on-going issues. If you are in a sales position, they are extremely coy about paying out bonuses fairly, and will try to move you and/or your team to a services model, where you would only be able to receive a mediocre annual incentive plan over a traditional sales incentive bonus. Politics abound everywhere. It is rare to find a manager that will groom you, as they are all looking out for themselves in an effort to climb the corporate ladder an escape from the next lay off. Lastly, it is very difficult to get promoted at Pearson. They will often dangle a new position with additional responsibilities to you without ever changing your title or compensation. Get EVERYTHING in writing.

    Advice to Management

    It's great that the internal in-fighting has been removed, however it is unfortunate that it was ever allowed to occur. (Internal competition was encouraged for years and years by one of the former executives of North America, and in recent years the internal competition that was allowed resulted in the most recent layoff). To the new president in North America, you are between a rock and a hard place. People have offered their insights and opinions based on either their limited view of Pearson and how their organization or team fits in as a larger piece of the puzzle, and/or you have been blind-sided by management team members that only tell 1/2 truths. Other companies and customers are talking about Pearson, they are rolling their eyes... If you really want to go back to basics, start with why Pearson exists. What was it associated with? Why did customers in the past always come back? Put employees first again instead of the shareholders. It can still be a win-win --- happy employees make happy customers, which means return business, which will mean happy shareholders.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Scourge of Scordino"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Upper Saddle River, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Upper Saddle River, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Objectively - NONE - Scordino's "Departure"

    Cons

    Reckless spending
    Inattention to product mix & market alignment
    *** nearly criminal Board of Directors ABSENT during Scordino's nearly Terminal Spending Fiasco(s)***

    Advice to Management

    "physician, heal Thyself"


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Frequent layoffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Pearson has some solid benefits

    Cons

    Constant change in upper management. Moved many jobs to India and Sri Lanka

    Advice to Management

    N/A Management does not stick around long enough to implement change


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  5. Helpful (7)

    "Good benefits if you can bear the extreme politics and lack of direction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits and work from home policy.

    Cons

    Few legacy products that still bring in revenue. Company financially is just barely doing okay and new product is not doing good at all due ownership politics and one bad decision after another. Lot of outsourcing, layoffs and no good direction makes it a company that you would think twice before even applying for. Draconian style of management due to extreme politics. During my time I went through three CTOs and three directors. Most of the colleagues left the company for better opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Change management and few politicians trying to take control of product rather than trying to make it better


  6. Helpful (9)

    "A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd, Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats Instinctively had quit it."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Clinical Assessment Developer in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Clinical Assessment Developer in San Antonio, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    -Smart, talented, caring and genuinely good people to work with
    -Opportunities to learn and grow digital skills
    -Intellectually stimulating work

    Cons

    -Inept and flaccid leadership (yet seemingly content) from the very top, to the very bottom
    -CEO (and his ilk) is an embarrassment and should resign immediately
    -No vision or viable strategy to save a dying company
    -Middle management is old, tired, and has no business leading the digital initiative, or leading business anywhere
    -No bonuses, raises, or timely promotions (to be fair, Pearson did award a piddly bonus and raises in 2017, yet not enough to even cover the cost of inflation)
    -Perpetual layoffs
    -Top talent is leaving in droves, and the people who should be leading the business have already left
    -Retaliation for being honest to leadership about failed direction of the company
    -Needless to say, morale is in the toilet

    Advice to Management

    John Fallon, please resign. You have failed, and your leadership team has failed. You don't live up to your proclaimed values, namely accountability. How do expect your employees to have any faith that you or your team could turn things around?


  7. Helpful (4)

    "The Worst Job I've Ever Had, You're Better Off Working Retail."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Bloomington, MN
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Bloomington, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nothing, please do not work here. Id you are desperate for a job then go ahead.

    Cons

    They monitor your screen by recording everything and invade your privacy. They make you sign a document waiving your rights to privacy. They harass you for not asking for surveys, Management is so lazy. They just walk around and act like they are doing work. You get calls from people in different countries and its hard to understand their thick languages. The applications they make you use o schedule candidates never works half the time. When you get your monthly reviews the Quality Assurance reps nag you for the dumbest things.


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Not a clue..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting industry so you learn lots everyday from teachers and students.

    Cons

    Students no longer see value in books or find other ways like Wikipedia to find info. Management has no clue how to add new value to product. Their technologies suck, don't work and aren't easy to use...

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of Fallon, find someone with an idea of how to save the business before the whole company goes broke. It's not too big to fail!


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Sales"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Education sales. Good products. Good benefits. Company car. Work from home. Not much else to say. Potential to make good money but goals are unattainable in current environment.

    Cons

    This company wants to work its people to the bone. Extraordinary expectations and no support. Company is struggling. Layoffs. No raises. No flexibility. Lots of travel. Large territories.

    Advice to Management

    Realize the quality of your tenured sales force and the importance of relationships in making sales value your employees strengths and work life balance. The good employees will do what it takes to be successful, do not micro manage. Trust. The bad employees will fail and it will be taken care of in the results. The work life balance is non existent. If you want to keep good employees allow them to do their job.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Run far, run fast! Sinking ship...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Sales Representative in Remote, OR
    Former Employee - Field Sales Representative in Remote, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    When I first started, work life balance was good. Until you get management staff who believes that you have to answer calls and emails on nights and weekends for Pearson technology that fails.

    there were a couple of managers who really cared about their Reps and tried to find the best fit for them....

    Cons

    ...That quickly dissipated. Senior Leadership Team (and it turns out, Pearson as a whole) had an MO to only hire just out of college "cheerleaders" who they could pay less. It was well known and blatantly obvious to the tenured publishing professionals, and created much more work for them as they had to train these children who do not want to work hard. Pearson switched the compensation plan multiple times and NOT for the better. It is not a hard job, but recognize when the reps go above and beyond (you DO NOT!) They would also schedule campus visits during finals or poor times of the school year. Why? They wanted to attend a sporting event in the area and it was convenient for them. (Who cares about the customer and rep)

    Advice to Management

    Realize that you have wonderful talent already doing the job. Pay them the commissions they deserve. Do what you say you will do. Do not expect them to work on nights and weekends. If they are a good employee help them get to where they want to go. Don't try to portray yourselves as a technology company, you are not and never will be. Figure out commission and stick with it. Be an advocate for your employee, not a dictator. Senior Leadership consistently lies and says one thing and goes back on their word more often than not. Publishing is a dying industry, time to put it out to pasture. Realize that vacations are earned and do not tell an employee the only time they can have vacation is in June. They earn that time and they can be away from campus for a week without it impacting their entire year. You are a very short sighted leadership time. It is time to look inward and see why everyone is jumping ship.


  11. Helpful (12)

    "Run, run away from this time bomb."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Pearson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They pay well, and work life balance is good. I probably took twice as much vacation as I had b/c no one follows any processes

    Cons

    C-suite says all the right things but can't seem to get the SVP/VP level to fall in line. I worked in a global role and spent time with nearly every region and line of business, and can say their issues are very wide spread. They're too busy living in the past and can't get out of their own way. Most people have been there 20 years, and new people come for about 12-18mo and leave out of frustration. All of these are key reasons they're losing business and b/c the negative characteristics are so engrained in their culture, it won't change soon or easily.

    Employee behavior is childish--it's like being in 8th grade. SVP level people will tell junior employees or their manager that they don't approve of who they go out to lunch with. The office gossip pool often knows who's going to be fired before they do. Sexual harassment is rampant, reports aren't taken seriously and result in nothing more than a slap on the wrist. And I'm not talking about a random dirty joke---thing I didn't even know people would say out loud!

    Advice to Management

    Clean house. Everyone is out for themselves and you're losing all of your best talent b/c characteristics like leadership, integrity, honestly, teamwork aren't value. If you take a risk or try something new, you'll be thrown under the bus. The culture of internal employees hiring consultant to do their work is out of control--and costs are sky rocketing b/c of it.


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