Michael E. Hansen
Chief Executive Officer
Michael E. Hansen became CEO of Cengage, a global education and technology company, in September of 2012.
Under Michael’s leadership, Cengage has transformed from a print publisher to a company which today is creating some of the most highly rated digital learning products and platforms. Cengage serves learners of all ages, building confidence and momentum, driving measurable success and workplace readiness. In FY 2016, digital unit sales outpaced print textbook sales, a significant milestone for Cengage.
Michael has built a strong reputation for transforming businesses across many media and information sectors. Prior to joining Cengage, he served as CEO of Elsevier Health Sciences. During his tenure, he developed and implemented a successful print-to-digital transition and accelerated the development of new user-focused products. As President and CEO of Harcourt Assessment, Michael turned an unprofitable testing business into a growing and highly profitable enterprise. Michael has built a strong reputation for achieving results through a rapid strategic assessment, relentless focus on measurable execution, and a keen emphasis on cultural change which drives sustainability.
Earlier in his career Michael served as Executive Vice President of Operational Excellence at Bertelsmann leading the portfolio transformation of this $20B global media company. Michael spent the first 11 years of his career with the Boston Consulting Group in New York, ultimately becoming Partner and Co-Chairman of the e-Business and Media Practice.
Michael is currently a Board Member of John’s Hopkins Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS), and ProPublica. Mr. Hansen holds a Master of Law degree from the University of Bonn in Germany and an MBA from Columbia University in New York. He lives with his wife and three sons in New York City.
Chief Strategy Officer & Interim Chief Product Officer
Fernando Bleichmar is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Cengage, serving on the Executive Team and reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he is responsible for working closely with the executive team on the continuing evolution of Cengage strategy and the oversight of corporate development and competitive intelligence.
Prior to joining Cengage, Mr. Bleichmar served as Chief Operating Officer at Altisource Technology Services and as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Elsevier Health Sciences. While with Elsevier, Mr. Bleichmar worked on a wide variety of strategy initiatives in higher education and information services focused on the digital transformation of the business – including go-to-market execution, pricing and commercialization strategy, portfolio evaluation, customer intelligence and acquisitions.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Bleichmar served eight years at The Boston Consulting Group, where he specialized in information services and corporate development, and also worked as COO and Advisor for Centro Eleia, a professional university focused on psychology studies in Mexico.
Mr. Bleichmar holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is based out of the Cengage Boston, MA office.
Alexander Broich is the President of International for Cengage, serving on the executive team and reporting to Michael Hansen, Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he is responsible for the growth and development of the company’s international operations.
Mr. Broich brings to Cengage more than 20 years of corporate and operational senior-level management experience, specializing in building, growing and developing businesses in changing environments. He has a successful track record in setting up and growing new technology driven businesses, is skilled in strategic planning and marketing, and is familiar with intercultural business practices and communications.
Prior to joining Cengage, Mr. Broich served as the President of International at Pearson Clinical and Talent Assessment for five years. At Pearson, he drove the international business to double-digit growth, while significantly increasing profitability and expanding into new territories. He led the strategy development and implementation of the conversion from traditional print assessments into digital solutions, and was a member of Pearson’s Innovation Board.
Earlier in his career, Broich was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Bertelsmann, Inc. for six years where he implemented development strategies in China, England, Germany and France, among other duties. He also held management positions with Bertelsmann Online Ltd., Health Online Services Multimedica, Bertelsmann AG, and Headwork Consulting.
Mr. Broich holds a PhD in Business Administration from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He is based out of the Cengage Boston, MA office.
Chief People Officer & General Counsel
Ken Carson is the Chief People Officer and General Counsel for Cengage. In this role, he is dually responsible for all aspects of Human Resources within the organization and managing the legal affairs of Cengage's businesses worldwide. As Chief People Officer, he oversees and provides HR–related consultation and guidance to business leaders and employees, and ensures that the company’s global HR strategies and programs are aligned with overall business goals.
In his General Counsel capacity, he acts as Secretary to the Board of Directors, and also is responsible for establishing company–wide best practices in balancing legal risk and business priorities.
Mr. Carson also takes a leading role in the development of strategies for the acquisition and maintenance of intellectual property in support of growth initiatives. At the industry level, Mr. Carson is a member of the Association of American Publishers' Copyright Committee, providing an opportunity to influence industry–wide issues affecting Cengage.
Mr. Carson joined The Thomson Corporation as Associate General Counsel in 1994, and was appointed Assistant General Counsel in 1998. In those roles, he worked for all Thomson businesses, including Thomson Learning, gaining broad experience in all aspects of information publishing. He became General Counsel of Thomson Learning, now Cengage, in 2001 after acting as Thomson's lead in–house counsel in the Harcourt, Inc. acquisition.
Mr. Carson joined Thomson from Maxwell Macmillan, where he was assistant general counsel from 1989 to 1994. Prior to that, from 1985 to 1988, he was associated with the law firm of Gordon Feinblatt Rothman Hoffberger & Hollander, in Baltimore, Maryland. He also served as a law clerk at the Delaware Chancery Court from 1984 to 1985.
Mr. Carson received his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1984. He is based out of the Cengage Boston, MA office.
Chief Financial Officer
John Leahy is the Chief Financial Officer for Cengage, serving on the Executive Team and reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he oversees all financial and operations functions for the company.
An experienced and respected executive leader in Boston and on Wall Street, Mr. Leahy joined Cengage from Care.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. As part of the leadership team at Care.com, he was instrumental in leading the company’s initial public offering in 2014, oversaw acquisitions and helped to drive significant growth in revenue.
Previously, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of iRobot, a pure play robotics firm which develops and markets consumer and defense products, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Keane, Inc., which provided business consulting and outsourcing services to Fortune 1000 companies. Earlier in his career, he worked with PepsiCo in a variety of domestic and international management assignments spanning 17 years, including Vice President, Global Strategic Planning and M&A.
Mr. Leahy holds a B.S. in Finance from Merrimack College and an M.B.A from the Boston College Graduate School of Management. He is based out of the Cengage headquarters in Boston, MA.
Chief Marketing Officer
Sharon Loeb is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Cengage. In this role, she is responsible for the company’s marketing efforts and serves on the executive team reporting to Kevin Stone, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.
Sharon most recently served as the head of McGraw-Hill’s Higher Ed Marketing group. In this role, she led the development and implementation of customer-centric, data-driven marketing strategies with direct impact on market share and digital revenue growth, as well as customer engagement, loyalty, and renewal. Prior to that, Sharon served as the Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at McGraw-Hill Higher Education where she led the brand and marketing communication across the Higher Education business, while also architecting and launching key strategic marketing programs focused on accelerating the company’s digital transformation.
With a strong track record of nearly twenty years of proven success in the education industry, Sharon brings broad experience across several functional areas to this strategic role. Sharon takes a holistic view of the business and is acutely aware of the power of marketing to impact and inspire change across the company and the industry.
Sharon holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from York University. She is based out of the Cengage New York City office.
Chief Technology Officer
George Moore is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Cengage. In this role, he is responsible for shaping Cengage’s long-term technology vision and driving innovation across the company during a transformative time.
As a member of Cengage's Executive Team, Mr. Moore reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer. In addition to his role as CTO, Mr. Moore serves as the Head of House in Cengage’s corporate headquarters. In this capacity, he leads all local employee engagement efforts.
With a passion for revolutionizing the education and publishing industries through the use of technology, Mr. Moore spearheads strategic partnerships and collaborations with faculty and students to drive a student-centric model of digital innovation. Driven by this focus on student success, Mr. Moore leads integrated teams of technology and education experts to work side-by-side to deliver cutting-edge digital innovations through technology platforms and tools.
Under Mr. Moore’s leadership, Cengage’s MindTap learning platform has emerged as the company’s flagship technology. Cengage now offers MindTap products for over 450 courses spanning the vast majority of disciplines. Cengage continues to add critical features to the MindTap platform in a disciplined, prioritized way allowing for significant course-level features and user personalization.
Prior to joining Cengage, Mr. Moore served as CTO of Elsevier Health Science, where he was recruited to transform the world’s leading medical publishing company into a medical information company. During his tenure, he was instrumental in developing ClinicalKey, one of the most innovative and successful product introductions in the health-care information industry.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Moore served as the SVP of Product Development for Thomson Reuter's Healthcare organization, where he led the consolidation effort of the company’s disparate acquisitions into a consolidated product development organization. Mr. Moore has also held various roles with a number of commercial software companies. Most prominently, he was VP of Product Development at Liquent, the industry leader in Pharmaceutical Publishing and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. At Liquent, he led the company’s efforts in defining how pharmaceutical companies would develop their information management systems that support drug discovery and approval, and also played a leading role in the sale and integration of Liquent into Thomson Reuters.
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Kevin Stone is the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Cengage, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of Sales and Marketing across the company, which have been integrated into one team under his new leadership role.
Mr. Stone joins Cengage with more than 22 years of experience in the publishing industry, most recently serving as Chief Sales Officer of the Higher Education unit at Pearson. In this position, Mr. Stone played a strategic role in leading a team of over 900 sales professionals that consistently outperformed the industry. He played a central role in multiple sales reorganizations and realignments, and actively partnered with the CEO and executive team to shape and execute sales strategies and participate in strategic planning.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Stone worked at various subsidiaries of Pearson and held positions in editorial, marketing, technology and sales, helping him to gain insight into the many working parts that join together to create a world class sales and marketing team. Throughout his diverse career, he has gained invaluable insight into many aspects of publishing, education technology and higher education.
Mr. Stone is based in Boston, MA. He holds an MBA from Boston University’s Graduate School of Management and a BS in Marketing from Oswego State University of New York.