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Rosensweig ’83 on CNBC

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trustee Daniel L. Rosensweig '83, chief executive officer and president of Chegg, was recently interviewed on CNBC for a segment on the company's move from strictly textbook rental into a more full-service platform for students - a move Rosensweig said in the interview he knew would come. The interview is available online and an article with excerpts appeared on CNBC online.

"When we took over the business three years ago, it was clear that print textbooks and the rental model wouldn't be around forever, as the world goes increasingly digital," Rosensweig said in the interview.

The online article notes "Rosenweig, former chief operating officer at Yahoo, said the focus is now much more broadly serving the needs of students: ‘Our mission is to save them time, save them money and get them smarter.' Already, he said, some 20 percent of revenue comes from something besides printed books."

While textbooks are still a strong piece of the business - especially now as the new semester has begun on most campuses - Rosensweig sees a much larger picture.

"We think this is one of the biggest markets out there," he said. "In the U.S. alone there are 20 million college students. So we have the college students, we have high school students trying to get into college, we have the global opportunities. We're really at the beginning of our opportunity."

Prior to joining Chegg, Rosensweig was president and chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard's Guitar Hero franchise. His professional life has been focused in media communications and Internet industries, including roles as chief operating officer of Yahoo!, president of CNET, and chief executive officer of ZDNET. In addition to his significant career, Rosensweig participates on the Advisory Board of the non-profit DonorsChoose.org and is former co-chair of the ONE Campaign to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty.

In 2008, he dedicated the Rosensweig Learning Commons at HWS. Located on the first floor of the Warren Hunting Smith Library, the Rosensweig Learning Commons has revolutionized the ways in which students and faculty members interact with one another and with information. Throughout his career, Rosensweig has created internship opportunities for HWS students to work directly with him and offered them job opportunities following graduation. He has served on the Colleges' Board of Trustees since 2011.

At Hobart, Rosensweig was a political science major, a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, and studied abroad in London.


The full article that appeared online follows.


CNBC.com
Textbook Renter Chegg Braces for Digital Future

Matt Twomey • CNBC.com writer/producer • January 19, 2013

It was the right idea that maybe came too late - to rent (rather than sell) textbooks to cash-strapped students. Chegg CEO Dan Rosenweig said he knew it from the start.

"When we took over the business three years ago, it was clear that print textbooks and the rental model wouldn't be around forever, as the world goes increasingly digital," he said.

The e-textbook would surely reign, probably sooner than later.

Rosenweig, former chief operating officer at Yahoo, said the focus is now much more broadly serving the needs of students: "Our mission is to save them time, save them money and get them smarter." Already, he said, some 20 percent of revenue comes from something besides printed books.

As a student network, he said, it's more similar to professionally oriented Linked In than socially oriented Facebook.

"We have high school students who come into the network," Rosenweig said. "We can match them with scholarships, we can help them pick their classes, pick their professors."

The Chegg website also offers "24/7 expert study help" and "step-by-step textbook solutions."

Still, with some required course textbooks running well above $100, the rental business continues to thrive.

"We've set record days for shipments the last couple of days because it's now back in the January semester," he said. "We've gotten so proficient at it that we can get millions of books back and turn them around in four hours."

But with the digital writing on the wall, Rosenweig stressed: "Three years ago, we had one line of business. Now we have three lines of business: We have the print textbooks, digital technology and educational services, and then we have the advertising business."

"We think this is one of the biggest markets out there," he said. "In the U.S. alone there are 20 million college students. So we have the college students, we have high school students trying to get into college, we have the global opportunities. We're really at the beginning of our opportunity."

 

 

 


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