News Corp. Sells Amplify to Existing Leadership Team

Mergers and Acquisitions

News Corp. Sells Amplify to Existing Leadership Team

By Tony Wan     Sep 30, 2015

News Corp. Sells Amplify to Existing Leadership Team
Amplify's new leader, Larry Berger

Yesterday Amplify laid off upwards of 500 employees. Today Amplify has new owners.

Or does it? News Corporation announced today that it has “sold its Amplify Insight and Learning businesses to a management team supported by a group of private investors.” These buyers include familiar faces from the company’s existing leadership, notably Larry Berger and Joel Klein, both of whom were the face of the Amplify. The deal is effective immediately.

The leadership team also includes many former executives from Amplify: Laurence Holt (Chief Product Officer), Leslie Kerner (General Manager at Amplify Insight), Kate Finnefrock (Senior Vice President of Product Development), Shannon Kete (Chief Operating Officer at Amplify Learning), Catherine Mackay (Senior Vice President of Digital English Language Arts curriculum team), Jim Mylen (Senior Vice President of Sales), Pat Smith (Chief Operating Officer) and Adam Zalisk (Chief of Staff, Amplify Learning)

The new company—which will retain the Amplify name—will be led by Larry Berger. He had previously co-founded Wireless Generation, the education data and analytics company that News Corp. purchased for $390 million in 2010. Wireless became one of the foundational elements for Amplify.

“I will lead the new Amplify,” Berger wrote in an email sent to the company—presumably, those employees who survived yesterday’s cuts. “I look forward to working with you to build great products and a great company. I am proud of the technology we’ve invented, the educational innovations we’ve pioneered, and the results we’ve delivered—and most importantly, of the team we’ve assembled.”

Joel Klein, former CEO of Amplify, is ceding the leadership role but “will play an important role in our future, including serving on our board of directors and providing critical strategic advice,” Berger said in his note.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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