Ken Cleary Made Scholastic’s President of International

In News by Porter Anderson

Ken Cleary, Scholastic’s CFO, will become president of international, succeeding Beth Polcari, who now leads educational solutions.

Books currently recommended for summer reading on Scholastic’s site. Image: Scholastic

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Warwick: ‘An Ideal Successor’
Ken Cleary’s promotion to president of international at Scholastic, announced today (August 17), comes in tandem with Beth Polcari’s move from president of international to president of educational solutions. Polcari is succeeding Rose Else-Mitchell, who is leaving the company after a transition period for Polcari.

Cleary is the company’s chief financial officer and is to retain that role until a successor is appointed. Scholastic’s media messaging today indicates that a search firm is at work on finding Cleary’s successor as CFO, and that there will be an transition period for Cleary when an appointment is in hand.

Peter Warwick

In commentary provided with today’s announcement, Peter Warwick, Scholastic’s president and CEO, is quoted, saying that Polcari, as president of education solutions, “will continue to advance the clear vision of literacy-focused, blended learning solutions that Rose Else-Mitchell championed during her tenure as division leader.

“Beth’s steady leadership, deep knowledge of the education market and our businesses, and strong operational focus will be invaluable as education solutions enters its next chapter. We wish Rose well in her new endeavors and thank her for her many contributions to Scholastic.”

Beth Polcari

Polcari, on today’s news, says, “Investing to grow education solutions with new blended literacy programs, which combine digital and print components, is a key pillar of Scholastic’s long-term growth strategy and core to our mission of giving all kids the power of reading.

“I look forward to working with the team and Rose to quickly transition into my new role and help accelerate our strategy.”

Ken Cleary

Cleary, now preparing to move into the international lead that Polcari held, was made CFO in 2017, having joined Scholastic in 2008.

Warwick says, “We’re grateful for Ken Cleary’s many years of service in Scholastic’s finance organization.

“Under his leadership as CFO, Scholastic has dramatically increased efficiencies across our operations. He’ll be an ideal successor to Beth as president of international because of his deep knowledge of Scholastic’s domestic and international businesses.

“This is a great opportunity for Ken and the company’s international subsidiaries.

“We look forward to recruiting a growth-oriented CFO to partner with our leadership team to deliver on Scholastic’s long-term strategy.”

Our regular readership knows that the criterion for us to report news of a personnel change in book publishing has two components–a leadership position and one with the potential to have significance to professionals in the international marketplace, which is the focus of our coverage. We’re unable to report the full range of the personnel changes flagged to us daily from many parts of the world because of the breadth of the field and the number of personnel changes being announced daily.

A programming note: Scholastic’s Peter Warwick speaks in our Publishing Perspectives Forum at Frankfurter Buchmesse on Wednesday, October 18, at 2 p.m. and Scholastic’s vice-president and creative director David Saylor–the publisher of Graphix at the company–will join us, also on October 18, at 3:15 p.m. Both of these events are part of the Publishing Perspectives Forum’s Kids Mini-Conference. 

More information on the Publishing Perspectives Forum this year–October 18 to 20 in Room Spektrum on Level 2 of Messe Frankfurt’s Congress Center–is here. Admission is free to all trade visitors and exhibitors at Frankfurt Book Fair.

More from Publishing Perspectives on children’s book publishing is here, and more on the work of Scholastic is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.