Calibre One Recruits Chief Marketing Officer for Cengage Learning

April 29, 2016 – Executive search firm Calibre One has placed Sharon Loeb as chief marketing officer of Cengage Learning. Managing partner Tom Barnes and associate Keely Gjelsteen led the search.

Ms. Loeb previously served as vice president of marketing at McGraw-Hill Education. There she aligned marketing with business strategy and lead the development and implementation of marketing strategies for an $800 million higher education organization, with direct impact on revenue, profit, marketshare and growth. Earlier in her career, she held marketing roles with Pearson Education Canada.

Cengage Learning is an educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. It has operations in more than 20 countries.

As business becomes more global and complex, and power shifts from producers of goods and services to consumers, a chief marketing officer’s (CMO) responsibility of planning and coordinating an organization’s marketing activities has become much more challenging, according to recruiters specializing in the function.


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For its part, Calibre One has a long track record of placing CMOs. It has filled top marketing posts for a wide range of companies, including Mozilla Mobile; SOASTA; SolarWinds; GoodData; Build.com; Bizagi; Mattersight; Personal Capital; Cloud Cruiser; and Prysm. The firm specializes in working with technology-centric businesses at all stages of development.

“The CMO has become a more powerful force than ever on executive teams and increasingly harder to come by,” said Ms. Gjelsteen. “The most commonly requested characteristic for CMOs is digital expertise in addition to messaging and positioning, which has traditionally been two very different types of CMOs now merging into one entity.”

Further, she said, “a CMO must understand the use of process and metrics as new marketing tools that allow for deeper understanding of marketing ROI,” said Ms. Gjelsteen. “I had a client just a couple months ago who asked us to search for a VP marketing and we ended up placing a candidate with the title chief analytics officer. The analytics demand has been echoed in not only smaller startups, but larger corporations as well.”

Ms. Gjelsteen said the rise of marketing technology has had a causal effect on CMOs “as we’ve seen not only their budgets increase exponentially but also the role has expanded to often include product, sales, marketing, growth, analytics, PR and advertising.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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