Blackboard has announced that CEO Jay Blatt has stepped down as of January 4th, 2016. Blackboard’s leader since 2012, Blatt cited family issues and the continued evolution of Blackboard as reasons for his departure.
Blatt has been succeeded by Bill Ballhaus, who was most recently the CEO of SRA International. Mr. Ballhaus has stated that he intends to bring a deep commitment to the customer experience to the position and that he is “passionate about driving the benefits of innovation and technology into the hands of students and educators.”
Analysts have weighed in on the surprise change at Blackboard noting that, while the company seemed poised for a sale in mid-2015, this move essentially eliminates that option for the next several years. While at SRA, Ballhaus focused on international operations and preparing the company for an IPO. Assumedly, the Blackboard board was not satisfied with Blatt’s ability to increase the bottom line, release new products and, more generally, make the company more competitive.
While Blackboard brings in around $700 Million USD a year in revenue, Ballhous stated today that he sees no constraints to the potential size of the company.
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