McGraw-Hill Education CEO David Levin Resigns

Managing Editor

David Levin has resigned as the CEO and President of McGraw-Hill Education, after a three-year tenure which saw the prominent company make major changes in its strategy for selling to schools.

During Levin’s time as chief executive, McGraw-Hill Education put an increasing emphasis on digital delivery of products, and on adaptive learning and classroom-focused resources.

And two years ago the company made a major break from its past when it abandoned the high-stakes testing market entirely, choosing to focus instead on formative assessment and the development of classroom resources. In making that move, McGraw-Hill Education sold major assets of its testing division to Data Recognition Corporation.

Today, McGraw-Hill Education describes itself as a “learning sciences company that delivers personalized learning experiences.”

“After an intense focus over the last three years on defining a winning vision and strategy, I am moving on and there will be a new leader for the next phase, focused on delivery and operations,” Levin said in a note to the company’s employees announcing his departure.

In that message, Levin touted some of the company’s key products, including ALEKS—which the company describes as a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system—which he said is growing in K-12 and higher education, and is being piloted in international markets. Overall, the company has “picked up market share consistently,” Levin said.

McGraw-Hill Education is not the only prominent company to make changes at the top. The publisher and content provider Houghton Mifflin Harcourt recently announced a shakeup in which it will revamp the roles of a number of leading executives working under President and CEO Jack Lynch.

Five years ago, the McGraw-Hill Companies agree to sell its education division to the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, for $2.5 billion.

Larry Berg, a senior partner at Apollo Global Management, who is also chairman of the board at McGraw-Hill Education, credited Levin for helping the company make “great strides” in refashioning itself from a print publisher to one offering “a wide array of digital learning solutions.”

“David helped us define our vision and strategy and now, building on this strong base, we will increase our focus on operational performance,” Berg said.

Berg said Lloyd “Buzz” Waterhouse will serve as McGraw-Hill Education’s interim president and CEO.

Waterhouse previously served in that role from June 2012 to April 2014, and took a lead role in guiding McGraw-Hill Education’s separation from McGraw-Hill Financial and overseeing the sale to Apollo Global Management.

Before coming to McGraw-Hill Education, Waterhouse was CEO of Harcourt Education. He also held different roles at IBM, including leading their strategy and business development functions.

McGraw-Hill Education has about 4,500 employees. Last year the company’s revenues were $1.7 billion. It delivers products in more than 60 languages, and it has offices in North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.

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