Arne Schepker (CEO Babbel) and Markus Witte (Executive Chairman of the Board)

Languages for all - Babbel reinforces leadership

  • Founder and co-CEO Markus Witte becomes Executive Chairman of the Board

  • Co-CEO Arne Schepker remains as the sole CEO

  • Veteran executive Katherine Melchior Ray appointed new CMO

Babbel rounded off the 2018 financial year with well over €100 million in sales and expanding the US into its strongest sales market. With the company progressing at speed, now the company is strengthening its leadership: Babbel founder Markus Witte, previously co-CEO and Chairman of the Board, will take on the newly created position of Executive Chairman of the Board. Co-CEO Arne Schepker remains as the sole CEO. The role of CMO welcomes a new face: From Tokyo, internationally experienced prestige brand marketer, Katherine Melchior Ray, joins the team in Berlin. Babbel 2020 will benefit by advancing further language learning opportunities than just the app.

In the past two years, the leadership team has already been reinforced by Julie Hansen as US CEO in New York, Geoff Stead as CPO and Philipp Schmidt as CISO. Founder Thomas Holl held several positions: As president of Babbel Inc., he brought Babbel to the USA and then returned to Berlin as CSO. Since 2018 he is again responsible for product engineering in his original post as CTO.

“As Babbel founders, we are used to changing roles within the company. This has led to important changes and success over the past 12 years," emphasizes Markus Witte, Babbel Founder and Executive Chairman. “Not many start-ups manage to break 100 million euros in turnover. But for us this is only the beginning. There's a lot to do and with Arne at the helm, Babbel has the best possible CEO for it."

Arne Schepker joined from Zalando in 2015 as Babbel CMO and was instrumental in driving sales over €100 million. He has been co-CEO since the beginning of 2019.

“I’m very much looking forward to stepping up to drive Babbel's mission further and strengthen our culture. As the sole CEO, my role becomes even bigger and more challenging," says Arne Schepker, CEO Babbel. "We make a positive difference in the lives of millions of people and contribute to worldwide cultural understanding. Babbel not only has the best product in the digital language learning market, but also a great team behind it."

Arne is now handing over marketing responsibility to the new CMO, Katherine Melchior Ray, who is moving from the Shiseido Cooperation in Tokyo.

"Most of my career has been devoted to building strong brands in different cultures. I know from my own experience how much multilingualism helps to understand the world and, ultimately, oneself", says Katherine Melchior Ray, CMO Babbel. "My goal for Babbel is to make the company a learning platform that helps everyone learn a new language, whether it’s for travelling, career advancement, or for self-improvement.”

Babbel is the world's top-selling language learning app. In addition to its consumer product, it offers a B2B solution, Babbel for Business, and has recently entered the language travel market with Babbel Travel.

About Babbel

Babbel develops and operates an ecosystem of interconnected online language learning experiences and is driven by the purpose of creating mutual understanding through language. This means building products that help people connect and communicate across cultures. The Babbel App, Babbel Live, Babbel Podcasts and Babbel for Business products focus on using a new language in the real world, in real situations, with real people. And it works: Studies by linguists from institutions such as Michigan State University, Yale University and the City University of New York demonstrated the efficacy of Babbel’s language learning methods.

The key is a blend of humanity and technology. Babbel offers more than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages, hand-crafted by nearly 200 didactics experts, with user behaviors continuously analysed to shape and tweak the learner experience. This results in constantly adapting, interactive content with live classes, games, podcasts and videos that make understanding a new language easy, from Spanish to Indonesian.

Because Babbel is for everyone, its team is as diverse as its content. From its headquarters in Berlin and its U.S. office in New York, 1000 people from more than 80 nationalities represent the backgrounds, characteristics and perspectives that make all humans unique. Babbel sold over 15 million subscriptions by creating a true connection with users.

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