WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc., a leading education technology company for teaching, learning and student engagement, announced a new organizational structure aimed at focusing its teams to better serve the needs of its clients worldwide. Blackboard is creating two new divisions: Global Client Operations & Success, and Global Markets.
Reflecting an increased focus and emphasis on ensuring Blackboard's clients have a world class experience, the company over the past several months gathered input from a number of clients and took a hard look at its structure and systems to ensure that it is organized as effectively as possible to serve its clients' needs. As a result, Blackboard created the Global Client Operations & Success organization, bringing together client delivery and support functions across the company into the new organization.
Lee Blakemore, who has held a number of leadership roles at Blackboard including President of K12 and President, International, has been named President of Global Client Operations & Success. With a strong track record as a successful enterprise software and services executive, Lee is well-positioned to take on his new responsibilities leading this team. Prior to joining Blackboard, he served in numerous corporate leadership roles. Tim Atkin, Blackboard's Chief Client Officer, will continue to report to Blackboard Chairman, CEO and President Bill Ballhaus and represent the client perspective and focus on efforts to enhance the client experience across every aspect of Blackboard's work. In addition, Tim will serve as Lee's deputy as they implement this new organizational structure and drive operational improvements in client delivery. Tim has over 25 years of senior leadership experience driving operational excellence across service delivery, communications, public affairs, investor relations and M&A.
Mark Gruzin, who has successfully led Blackboard's North America Higher Education, Corporate and Government teams since January 2015, will assume the role of President Global Markets. In this expanded role, Mark will lead global sales, field marketing and business operations. Prior to joining Blackboard, Mark held executive leadership roles with IBM, including serving as vice president of worldwide solution sales transformation for IBM's software division with executive focus on strategy and business operations.
"We are laser focused as a company on delivering a world class experience for our clients," said Blackboard Chairman, CEO and President Bill Ballhaus. "These organizational changes will better enable us to serve our clients' needs and be their partner in change. I look forward to the opportunity before us as we work together to drive student success."
Blackboard also announced today that Chief Financial Officer Lisa Mayr will be leaving Blackboard at the end of January to pursue an opportunity at a small Washington, D.C.-based tech company, fitting with her career goal to be in an early-stage company environment.
"Lisa has been an invaluable asset to Blackboard for nearly five years, and we appreciate her tireless work and dedication to the company," said Ballhaus. "We are sad to see her go, but wish her well in her new endeavors."
Lisa joined Blackboard in 2013 as Vice President of Finance and was named CFO in August 2016.
Until Blackboard announces a new CFO, Chief Legal Officer Stuart Kupinsky will serve as Interim CFO. Lisa will support Stuart in this interim period.
About Blackboard Inc. Our mission is to partner with the global education community to enable learner and institutional success, leveraging innovative technologies and services. With an unmatched understanding of the world of the learner, the most comprehensive student-success solutions, and the greatest capacity for innovation, Blackboard is education's partner in change.