Careers at Rosetta Stone

Mission

Rosetta Stone seeks to make language learning more accessible and effective through the provision of software solutions to consumers, companies, and institutions around the world.

Business segments

Rosetta Stone organises its operations into two reportable business segments:

  • Enterprise and Education, through which the Company provides language and reading programs to institutions, corporations, and government bodies; and
  • Consumer, through which the Company provides language and reading programs to individual consumers and retail partners worldwide.

Founding story

Rosetta Stone was founded in 1992 by Allen Stoltzfus (“Stoltzfus”). According to reports of the Company’s early history, Stoltzfus had learned German through immersion in a relatively short space of time but had experienced difficulty learning languages in a classroom setting. This spurred the founder to develop a language immersion technique that could be utilised without spending time abroad.

Rosetta Stone was established initially under the name Fairfield Language Technologies, and offered language learning courses through CD-ROM software sets. The Company changed its name to Rosetta Stone in 2006 to match the name of its product, and in 2009 completed an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

Since going public, Rosetta Stone has continued to develop its service offerings. It now provides dedicated solutions to consumers, corporations, and institutions, and provides courses in more than 30 languages through online platforms, digital downloads, and mobile applications.

The Company is the most well-known language learning provider in the world. It continues to trade shares on the New York Stock Exchange and has a current market capitalisation of $170.11 million.

Logo © by Abshifflett (Wikimedia Commons) under CC BY-SA 3.0

Benefits at Rosetta Stone

Business model of Rosetta Stone

Customer Segments

Rosetta Stone offers language and reading software solutions to commercial and institutional clients, as well as to general consumers. The Company’s customers can be organised into the following core categories:

  • Consumers, comprising general consumers and language learners around the world;
  • Corporations, comprising commercial entities across multiple business sectors, including the financial services, energy, retail, and healthcare industries;
  • Educational Institutions, including schools and higher education institutions from K-12 through to college and university; and
  • Government and Non-Profit Institutions, including municipal, state, and federal government bodies, public agencies and organisations, and not-for-profit institutions.

Rosetta Stone provides solutions to a number of high-profile companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, Kimberly Clark, and Best Buy.

Rosetta Stone serves a global client base, including customers across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

Value Propositions

Rosetta Stone provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Its brand strength and reputation, with the Company established the most well-known brand in language learning around the world, having a positive track record dating back a number of years, and serving a range of high-profile clients;
  • Its broad range of products and services, with the Company offering courses in more than 30 languages for consumers, as well as language learning solutions that are designed specifically for businesses and educators;
  • Its accessibility and ease of use, with the Company offering its courses across multiple channels that can be accessed online or through onsite software, including web-based software subscriptions, digital downloads, mobile applications, and compact disc packages;
  • Its proprietary technologies and platform, with the Company utilising a range of proprietary technologies and intellectual properties in the development and delivery of its language learning programs, making its offerings unique within the industry; and
  • Its industry expertise and experience, with the Company employing specialist linguistic and technical personnel across its two operating segments, to ensure that its solutions are accurate, reliable, and efficient.

Channels

Rosetta Stone operates a website at www.rosettastone.com, through which it provides information on its various consumer, corporate, and educational solutions, as well as its various available languages.

Rosetta Stone operates an online sales channel that allows customers to purchase and download learning resources or pay for online subscriptions directly from its website. The Company’s products are delivered across multiple channels, including online software subscriptions, digital software downloads, mobile applications, and compact disc packages.

The Company also sells products to consumers via call centre operations, third party ecommerce websites, retail partners – including Amazon Barnes and Noble, Target, and Best buy – and daily deal partners.

Rosetta Stone makes the bulk of its sales to institutions and corporations through its direct sales force that is organised by geographic region. The Company’s sales personnel operate out of its network of offices across its operating regions. Rosetta Stone also utilises the services of third party resellers and distributors to reach corporate and institutional clients around the world.

Customer Relationships

Rosetta Stone sells its products in various forms to consumers on a self-service basis, with customers able to download software, subscribe to online services, and purchase physical compact disc sets directly form the Company’s website. Customers can also download the Company’s mobile apps directly from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and can access the Company’s online portal independently without interact with sales and service personnel.

Rosetta Stone offers a more personalised service through its call centre and directs sales teams, who consult closely with customers, in particular corporate and institutional clients, in order to fully establish their requirements and circumstances. The Company is able to scale and tailor its offerings in many cases, and seeks to establish longstanding relationship through high-quality customer service.

Rosetta Stone offers ongoing support to its consumer and commercial customers, who are able to interact directly with dedicated customer support personnel over the phone, via an online contact form, or through a live online chat service. The Company also offers a range of support resources, including FAQs, installation and user guides, and payment guides.

Rosetta Stone maintains a social media presence across several networks – including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube – through which its able to public company updates and interact directly with customers.

Key Activities

Rosetta Stone offers a range of personalised language and reading programs for consumers, corporations, government bodies, and non-profit institutions.

The Company aligns its operations into reportable business segments: Enterprise and Education, which derives revenue from the sale of language learning products and solutions to educational institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world; and Consumer, which derives revenue from the sale of similar language learning courses to individual consumers and retail partners. Rosetta Stone delivers its course across multiple channels, including cloud-based online platforms, digital software downloads, mobile applications, and physical product sales.

The Company serves a global client base, including commercial and consumer customer base across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Key Partners

Rosetta Stone works closely with a network of partner companies and organisations across its two operating segments. These partners can be organise broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of services, equipment, tools, and resources that the Company utilises in support of its core software development and delivery operations;
  • Channel and Distribution Partners, comprising the Company’s extensive network of retail partners, third party resellers, distributors, marketing affiliates, and independent sales agents that assist in extending the reach of the Company’s in-house sales force;
  • Technology and Development Partners, comprising software developers, IT service providers, technology companies, and platform-as-a-service providers with which the Company collaborates on joint offerings and which support the development and maintenance of the Company’s solutions; and
  • Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising market leading companies across multiple business sectors with which the Company collaborates on joint projects, including in branding, marketing, and development.

Rosetta Stone has a number of key partnerships in place. This includes a strategic partnership with online language learning platform LiveMocha, reseller partnerships with BME, Creative Tech, and Mattar Consulting, and high-profile retail partners such as Amazon, Target, and Best Buy.

Key Resources

Rosetta Stone’s key resources are its technologies and intellectual properties, its software products and online platform, its IT and communications infrastructure, its sales and distribution channels, its partnerships, and its personnel.

Rosetta Stone owns and utilises various proprietary technologies that are key in the development of its software products and platform. A search of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified a number of patent applications filed in Rosetta Stone’s name, as both applicant and assignee, including applications entitled ‘Method and system for reading fluency training’, ‘Performing a computerized language teaching lesson using a main computer and a mobile device’ and ‘System and method for teaching non-lexical speech effects’.

Rosetta Stone owns and or leases various corporate office locations around the world, as well as call centre locations.

Cost Structure

Rosetta Stone incurs costs in relation to the development of its technologies and software solutions, the development and maintenance of its online platform, the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the procurement of services, the operation of its sales and call centre operations, the management of its partnerships, the implementation of advertising and marketing campaigns, and the retention of its personnel.

In 2015 Rosetta Stone recorded total operating costs in the amount $222.96 million. This included sales and marketing expenses in the amount of $136.08 million, research and development costs in the amount of $29.94 million, and general and administrative costs in the amount of $50.12 million.

Revenue Streams

Rosetta Stone generates revenue through the development and sale of various language learning and reading products and solutions. The Company derives revenue in the form of physical and digital sales, subscription fees, and service contracts.

In 2015 Rosetta Stone generated revenue in the amount of $217.67 million, down on the $261.85 million recorded by the Company in 2014. The bulk of the Company’s revenue, $151.70 million, was recorded as subscription and service revenue, with the remainder categorised as product revenue.

Our team

John Hass,
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

info: John has served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Rosetta Stone since 2015. He leads the Company’s overall strategic direction. Hass also serves as a trustee as the Museum of Contemporary Photography and as a director at WITNESS. Hass is an experienced executive and director. He was previously a long-serving employee at Goldman Sachs, where he began his career in 1998 and held a number of positions of increasing responsibility, including a spell as Managing Director, until 2006. He went on to serve for two years as Chief Executive Officer at OptionsHouse, before being made a partner at PEAK6 Investments. Hass has also held a number of board positions at a variety of companies and organisations.

Thomas Pierno,
Chief Financial Officer

info: Thomas has served as Chief Financial Officer at Rosetta Stone since joining the Company in 2012. He oversees the Company’s various financial functions and the operations of its financial units. Pierno began his career in 1984, when he joined Ernst and Young. He held several positions at the firm, including a spell as manager, before joining Paramount Communications in 1992 as Director of Accounting and Planning. Pierno followed this role with a 4-year spell as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at World Color Press. In 1998 he joined AOL, serving in a number of senior positions, including Senior Vice President and Controller, before being appointed Vice President of Financial Planning, Treasury, and Special Projects at Comverse in 2010. Prior to joining Rosetta stone, Pierno was Chief Financial Officer at Vertis Communications.

Philip Dunne,
Senior Vice President of Global Consumer

info: Philip has served as Senior Vice President of Global Consumer at Rosetta Stone since 2015. He has been with the Company since 2009, when he joined as a senior ecommerce manager. Dunne has since held several SENIOR roles, including Senior Director of Web Strategy. Dunne is an accountant by training. He began his career in 1986 as an accountant at Dempsey Mullen chartered Accountants, following which he served as an audit senior at Daniels and Co Chartered Accountants from 1988. Dunne joined Cable and Wireless in 1992 where he held several roles over the course of six years, culminating in a spell as a senior marketing manager. He was named Director of Marketing at AOL in 1998 and went on to hold a number of senior leadership positions at the company before leaving to join Rosetta Stone in 2009.

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