Pearson joined Rolls Royce in 1932 becoming successively: Technical Production Engineer, Glasgow Factory, 1941; Chief Quality and Service Engineer, 1941-45; General Manager Sales and Service, 1946-49; Director, 1949; Director and General Manager, Aero-Engine Division, 1950; Managing Director, Aero-Engine Division, 1954-65; Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman, 1957-68; and Chairman and Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Ltd, 1969-70.
In the 1960s Rolls Royce invested heavily in a new engine, the RB211, which it hoped would power a new generation of wide bodied jet aircraft. Initial problems with the financing of the engine led successively to Pearson's resignation as Chairman, the company being taken into state-ownership in 1971, and the subsequent flotation of the firm's motor car business in 1973 as a separate entity.
Pearson was a member of the National Economic Development Council 1964-1967, although note of the papers held by Churchill Archives Centre relate to this aspect of his activities. He was knighted in 1963.
Pearson's copies of papers relating to Rolls-Royce Ltd, especially concerning the development of the RB211 engine, and the subsequent voluntary liquidation of the company and its transfer to state ownership. Also some personal papers.
0952 - The collection was donated to Churchill Archives Centre by Mrs Buckland, daughter of Sir Denning Pearson, in September 1993.
Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.
Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Sir (James) Denning Pearson, PRSN