Michael E. Hansen
Chief Executive Officer
Michael E. Hansen became CEO of Cengage, a global education and technology company, in September of 2012.
Under Mr. Hansen’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.
Mr. Hansen 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, Mr. Hansen turned an unprofitable testing business into a growing and highly profitable enterprise. Mr. Hansen 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 Mr. Hansen served as Executive Vice President of Operational Excellence at Bertelsmann leading the portfolio transformation of this $20B global media company. Mr. Hansen 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.
Mr. Hansen 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 Product Officer
Fernando Bleichmar is Chief Product 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 product development 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
Gary Fortier is the Chief People Officer for Cengage. He is responsible for growing and nurturing the Cengage culture and operationalizing our ethos—guiding principles that clarify what is needed from employees to transform the company, revolutionize our industry and truly deliver for learners.
Gary has a cross-industry track record of successfully unlocking the potential of teams by tapping into the skills and passions of people and the leaders who guide them. His career-long interest in leadership and teamwork first blossomed during his military service as a platoon leader and jumpmaster in the 82nd Airborne Division. It was there that Gary first came to understand that investing care and effort in people can produce outsized rewards.
Prior to joining Cengage, Gary was CEO for Vision Government Solutions, a MA-based firm where he led a successful financial turnaround and organizational transformation. Before that, he was COO for Raizlabs and has served in operational, finance and HR leadership and executive-level roles at companies including GL Advisor, PowerAdvocate, The Home Depot and Deloitte.
Gary holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard University and an MBA, specializing in Finance and Management, from Columbia Business School. He lives in Lexington, MA with his wife, who works in higher education, and three children. When he isn’t coaching his kids’ sports, he can be found training for the Tough Mudder, a challenging—and messy—obstacle course he completes every year.
Chief Marketing Officer
Sharon Loeb is Chief Marketing Officer for Cengage. She is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of Cengage’s marketing and communications programs, and ensuring they support the company’s strategy.
Since joining the company in January 2016, Sharon has reimagined Cengage’s marketing function, using data, technology and process improvements to increase customer awareness, improve engagement, and ultimately drive demand. To that end, she built new internal competencies while strengthening existing teams in a collaborative, evidence-based environment that has led to enhanced campaign quality and a measurable impact on reach, engagement, pipeline and conversion.
With more than 20 years of experience in the education industry, Sharon is driven by the understanding that education is the path to a better life for many, and indeed creates a better and more enlightened society for all. She is passionate about Cengage’s student-focused mission, and especially excited to be part of the leadership team for the introduction of Cengage Unlimited, an offering that will positively impact the lives of students across the U.S.
Prior to joining Cengage, Sharon most recently served as the head of McGraw-Hill Education’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. Previously, Sharon held a succession of leadership positions at both McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson Education, both in the U.S. and Canada.
Sharon holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from York University. She lives in the New York area and enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, solving puzzles, and reading almost anything.
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 Legal Officer
Laura Stevens is the Chief Legal Officer for Cengage; she is responsible for providing legal support for Cengage's business operations, including Cengage's Global Product and Technology groups, Sales and Marketing, and Finance, as well as its Global Anti-Piracy program and Intellectual Property Acquisitions and Granting functions. Additionally, her team provides legal advice, contract negotiation support, dispute management and legal operational support for Cengage's content licensing and acquisition activities.
Laura believes that transparency is essential for collaboration, so with this in mind, she realigned the Legal team, forming deep synergies and equipping the group to take on the challenges of an evolving business. This forward-thinking approach helped enable the launch of Cengage Unlimited and propel the company’s rapid print-to-digital transformation. Laura also founded Cengage’s privacy office, creating industry-leading preparation and standards for responsible data stewardship.
Laura joined Thomson Learning—now Cengage, in 2003—as Publishing Counsel; she has held multiple positions within the Legal division, including Assistant General Counsel and Senior Vice President. Prior to this, Laura was an attorney at Brown Raysman in New York City.
Outside of work, Laura is often seen donning ear buds as she listens to one of her many favorite podcasts. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Rochester—along with a degree in political science and subsequently a J.D. from Columbia Law School—Laura is still an avid art lover and can be found on weekends frequenting art museums around Boston with her husband and two children.
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.
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Todd is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Cengage. He is responsible for leading Cengage strategy and collaborating with colleagues across the company to evolve the organization, as well as oversight of corporate development, mergers & acquisitions, channel partnerships and pricing.
Driven by a profound commitment to innovation and advancing learning, Todd brings with him a strong track record of ushering in meaningful and effective change at Cengage; in his prior role, he served as Senior Vice President of Go-To-Market Strategy and Operations at the company. With deep insight, Todd works every day to provide solutions that work for today’s learners; his contributions were crucial in moving the Sales organization to a SaaS type model by transforming the culture within Sales to focus on the entire customer journey, digital products and services. Todd was also instrumental in bringing an innovative offer to students with Cengage Unlimited.
Thinking creatively, enduring challenges and empowering people was instilled in Todd after living in Mali, West Africa for over two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, where he worked with villagers to build microenterprises—most of which still exist today. After residing in a mud hut and triumphing over malaria—not once but twice—Todd is ready to tackle any obstacles that come his way.
Prior to joining Cengage, Todd served many years as a management consultant across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, most recently as Principal at The Boston Consulting Group, where he advised senior clients across global Financial Services / Private Equity and Telecom, Media and Technology companies in setting overall strategic direction as well as creating organization structures and operating models that help make these strategies a reality. Back in his early days, Todd was a co-founder of two venture-backed technology start-ups in Silicon Valley.
Todd earned his MBA with Honors from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University. He resides near Boston with his wife and two kids who keep him active and on his toes.