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McGraw-Hill Names Heidrick & Struggles to Find Education CEO

McGraw-Hill Cos. selected search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. to recruit a chief executive officer for the education textbook company it’s spinning off, said a person familiar with the discussions who couldn’t be named because they are confidential.

McGraw-Hill, based in New York, said Sept. 12 it would split into two companies, one focused on financial information and the other on educational publishing. The company said it would begin a search for a chief executive for McGraw-Hill Education, which it said will be spun off by the end of 2012.

McGraw-Hill’s education unit, which had revenue of $2.4 billion in 2010, publishes in 65 languages in 110 countries, according to company filings.

The plan to reorganize the company was driven partly by the education unit, which has seen its revenue decline from $2.7 billion in 2007 as states and school districts have cut back on spending for classroom materials. The education business is “a drag” on the rest of McGraw-Hill, said shareholders Jana Partners LLC, a New York hedge fund, in a breakup proposal presented to McGraw-Hill Aug. 22.

McGraw-Hill spokeswoman Patti Rockenwagner was traveling and couldn’t be reached for comment. Chicago-based Heidrick & Struggles spokeswoman Lia L. Morreale had no comment.

McGraw-Hill fell $1.31, or 3.1 percent, to $41 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading today. The shares have climbed 13 percent this year.

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