Former McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson executive brings deep experience in adaptive learning, track record of outperforming education industry competition
July 10, 2017 – NEW YORK – Knewton, Inc. today announced that it has appointed Brian Kibby as the company’s chief executive officer. Mr. Kibby, a champion of personalized learning who previously served as a senior executive at McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson, has consistently grown education businesses at multiple times the rate of the rest of the market and built digital businesses with hundreds of millions in sales. With the appointment of Mr. Kibby, Knewton is positioned to fulfill its promise of changing the world through personalized learning.
At McGraw-Hill Education, Mr. Kibby helped turn personalized learning into a movement to increase student performance while making education more affordable. He made adaptive technology the centerpiece of the company’s higher education business, resulting in its adaptive offerings growing from 40 in 2012 to over 1,400 in 2015. Mr. Kibby’s leadership has translated to financial success: Over a 20-year career as an executive at McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson, he regularly outperformed industry sales estimates by double-digit percentages and built digital businesses with hundreds of millions in sales. Most recently, Mr. Kibby served as CEO of MV Transportation, the largest privately held transportation contractor in America.
“Unlocking Knewton’s potential requires not only a strong belief in the power of personalized learning but a keen understanding of what today’s students and instructors need to be successful,” said Rob Stavis, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and lead director of Knewton’s board. “Brian has long been a staunch advocate for adaptive technology, and his insights into the dynamics of higher education are unmatched. No one is better suited to lead Knewton to its next stage of growth than Brian Kibby.”
Mr. Kibby is not shy about the potential of personalized learning technology to transform teaching and learning. In 2012, he sent shockwaves throughout the world of higher education by calling on publishers to become all-digital with the goal of improving student outcomes and affordability.
“Brian is a transformational leader with a unique ability to energize and connect with students, customers, partners and employees,” added Stavis. “He will forge the path for Knewton as it continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in adaptive technology.”
“This is a critical moment for higher education: We simply must do more to improve student outcomes and make college more affordable. I’ve long shared Knewton’s belief that personalized learning technology offers the best path to achieving those goals,” said Mr. Kibby. “I’m excited to join one of the most powerful brands in higher education, backed by the immense talent of its employees and technology that surpasses any in the industry, to fulfill the promise of changing the world through personalized learning.”
Ryan Prichard, who served as Knewton’s interim CEO since founder Jose Ferreira stepped down from the post in December 2016, will return to his role as the company’s president and chief technology officer.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Mr. Kibby holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Western Illinois University. His tenure at Knewton begins July 10.
With Knewton, every student gets a more personal learning experience. Educators, schools and universities, and education companies around the world use Knewton to power and provide digital courses that dynamically adapt to each student’s unique needs. Knewton provides students with tailored recommendations for exactly what to study, educators with analytics to better support each student, and publishers with content insights to develop more effective digital products. Knewton was founded in 2008 and has offices in New York City, London, and Tokyo.