SAN FRANCISCO--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--TutorGroup, the leading online education platform and largest English-language learning institution in the world, today announced the hiring of Franz Chen as Chief Operating Officer, Global Business Development. In this role, Chen will accelerate the decade-old, private company’s rapid global growth, focusing on both Greater Asia and the Americas. In early 2014, TutorGroup will establish its international headquarters in Silicon Valley. Chen will maintain offices both there and in Shanghai, where TutorGroup has significant operations.
“As TutorGroup enters the next phase of its growth, Franz’s broad commercial and business development expertise will be invaluable.”
Fast Growing Company in an Underserved But Large Market
The hiring of Chen comes at a time when TutorGroup is quickly growing throughout China and Taiwan:
- The company’s sales in China have grown approximately 300% in the last 12 months.
- TutorGroup has rolled out more than 5 million classroom sessions using its 2,000 registered teachers.
- Its proprietary eLearning platform now houses more than 10,000 sets of course material for common use, including specialized content for professionals as diverse as lawyers, doctors and sommeliers.
- Busy professionals can take classes from their mobile devices at any time using the TutorMobile® classroom apps for iOS and Android.
- TutorGroup forecasts the online English language-learning segment within China is growing at 25% annually, and will grow to more than U.S. $17 billion by 2015.
The TutorGroup platform learns as the student learns, and therefore helps optimize the relationship between teacher, student and material in real time, producing better outcomes. Its success is based on a proprietary database of user preferences and feedback, gathered from millions of classroom sessions over the last 10 years, which is coupled with analytical algorithms and predictive capabilities.
This data-centric approach allows TutorGroup to provide online learners with the flexibility and personalization that they demand, while also guaranteeing consistently high learning quality. A network of nearly 2,000 certified tutors in 60 cities worldwide complements the proprietary platform, providing students 24/7 access to quality teaching in 14 countries. Winners of the Red Herring Top 100 Global award as a top global company in 2012, TutorGroup consistently earns top satisfaction ratings from users for high-quality teachers, content and support.
COO to Facilitate Expansion into Greater Asia, Americas
As TutorGroup’s COO, Chen will lead the introduction of the company’s Chinese language platform, TutorMing.com, as a commercial offering within the United States. This will include the deployment of special coursework for advanced-placement Chinese language learners.
In addition to more rapidly advance global expansion for both English and Chinese language products, Chen will focus on identifying strategic partners for TutorGroup to better serve online language learners around the globe, targeting potential strategic partners where technological synergies or mutual business goals might exist.
“We believe that TutorGroup is the only true technology platform in online education, and our success in capturing the online language education market in China demonstrates the strength of that platform,” said Dr. Eric Yang, CEO of TutorGroup. “We look at ourselves as a post-national company, with each member of our leadership team having their own proven record of success in different parts of the world. Given our progress in China and Taiwan and our global background, expansion into Greater Asia and the Americas is the right move.”
“It’s rare that you can bring on board an executive with the background, proven business track record and global experience that Franz Chen demonstrates,” Yang continued. “As TutorGroup enters the next phase of its growth, Franz’s broad commercial and business development expertise will be invaluable.”
“I have long held an interest in education, system development and fostering collaboration, all of which are fundamental elements to TutorGroup’s offering,” added Chen. “As the leading brand in the online education field, I am delighted to be joining the outstanding TutorGroup team at this exciting stage of their development.”
About Franz Chen
Chen brings more than three decades of technology entrepreneurship to TutorGroup, including several successful global operations. Most recently, Chen was CFO of Cyterion, Inc., a company focused on developing superior regenerative medicine products targeting tissues damaged due to complications from diabetes. Prior to Cyterion, Chen founded RIQtek, a company providing standard and tailored management software for resolving issues with project cost overruns, where he remained until 2006. Before launching RIQtek, Chen occupied key technical and management positions at Turnstone Systems, where he drove the organization’s development, taking more than 80% of CLEC market. Before Turnstone, Chen worked for National Semiconductor, specializing in creating system models that predict behavior and performance of ICs. Between 1986 and 1990, Chen was a founder and managing director of Neon Sociedad Anonima (NSA) in Peru, a consumer electronics manufacturing company with more than 60% of its industry’s market share. Chen holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and received a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. He graduated with top honors from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He has a multi-cultural background and is fluent in Spanish, English, and Chinese (Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Cantonese).
Founded in 2004, TutorGroup is a leading, online language institute specializing in English training in Asia and Mandarin Chinese training for global business professionals. TutorGroup created the first commercially available synchronous learning portal in the world and developed four prominent service product businesses including VIPABC, TutorABC and TutorABCJr for English training and TutorMing for Mandarin Chinese. To date TutorGroup has conducted over 5 million classes in 14 countries. Visit www.tutor-group.com for more information.