June 2, 2023 – Global executive search and private equity advisory firm Renovata & Company has placed Kathleen Radford as chief learning experience officer of Babbel, a global online language learning platform with more than 10 million subscribers. Partner Thomas Jepsen and consultant Tilanie Salvador led the assignment.
“Kathleen has a proven track record leading large product innovation teams, including organizational design, shaping culture, and building and developing strong talent pools,” said Mr. Jepsen. “She has the leadership experience and skills to build out Babbel’s ecosystem of various language learning experiences.”
Ms. Radford is a veteran product leader with a proven global customer focus, having worked in six countries and at prominent tech corporations like Microsoft and Amazon. She has helped start-up products and businesses at Blinkbox, and recently led product and innovation at comparethemarket.com, HSBC, and Entain. Earlier in her career, she was a language teacher.
“I am thrilled about my new role at Babbel, a company that truly puts its learners first,” said Ms. Radford. “Language learning is a deeply social activity to accomplish interaction with other humans. And while there is this common goal, the different types of learners are highly individual—something I find extremely intriguing. I cannot wait to build products that help all of them succeed.”
Founded in 2007, Babbel has its headquarters in Berlin, an office in New York, and more than 750 employees. The company offers online language learning experiences that help people connect and communicate across cultures. The Babbel platform includes more than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages, created by more than 180 didactics experts.
Private Equity Search & Advisory Firm
Renovata & Company partners with financial sponsors, their portfolio companies, and public corporations to deliver leaders and investment insights. The search firm’s executive recruiting activities are focused on search assignments covering board-level mandates, which include board directors, CEOs, CFOs, and other C-suite executives, as well as investment professionals and operating partners. The firm provides strategic counsel to clients across the technology, digital, business services, industrial, consumer, and retail sectors.
Renovata & Company has relationships with over 50 of the top 100 private and growth equity firms globally. Its private equity advisory services include diligence support, backable executive introductions, and deal sourcing delivered by its affiliate, L Capital Advisors. The firm also makes equity co-investments alongside its private equity clients through its investment affiliate, L Capital. The search firm is privately held and operates from five offices across two continents: Boston, Hamburg, London, New York, and San Francisco.
Renovata & Company Recruits CEO for Boost.ai
Renovata & Company has placed Jerry Haywood as chief executive officer for Boost.ai, a global leader in conversational artificial intelligence for Fortune 1000 companies. He will succeed founder and current CEO Lars Ropeid Selsås, who will give greater focus to product development and innovation. “Jerry has more than 20 years of enterprise technology experience and has held various sales and senior leadership positions at IBM, Cisco, and Salesforce,” said Thomas Jepsen, partner at Renovata & Company. “He’ll use these leadership skills to build upon the solid foundation Boost.ai has created over the past six years.”
Mr. Jepsen is a co-founder of Renovata & Company. He has over 20 years’ experience in executive search across the SaaS, marketplace and B2C online spectrum. His focus is on working with the boards (founders and investors) of high growth businesses to attract the leadership talent that enable their companies to scale. In over a decade leading Renovata, Mr. Jepsen has worked with many of the leading B2B and B2C businesses across Europe.
Ms. Salvador’s focus is on senior executives in the areas of digital business, technology, and consumer goods. She has experience in international executive search with focus on the appointment of CEOs, C-level executives, and board roles in consumer digital, B2B SaaS, technology, and consumer goods. Before joining Renovata & Company in 2018, she performed executive searches for Cribb in Hamburg, Germany.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media