Coursera and edX Hire New Executives: What about online experience?

Phil Hill, Mar 25, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As Phil Hill writes, there have been some leadership changes at the top of some online course providers. " First, Coursera announced they had hired Richard Levin, former president of Yale University, to be the company’s new CEO.... On the same day, coincidentally, edX announced they had hired Wendy Cebula as the company’s new president and chief operating officer." Hill comments that none of the eexecutives as any real experience in online learning. "Stanford, MIT, and Yale are all excellent schools, but just 3.6%, 0.2% and 0.1% of their students take any courses online, according to 2012 IPEDS data." But that is not, in my view, why these people were hired. They were hired for their connections, for their networks. They were hired to help pry loose more VC funding, more foundation funding, more government funding. The product is incidental.

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