Top-Grossing Language Learning App Company, Babbel, Selects Katherine Ray as Chief Marketing Officer

 Hamburg, Germany — October 15, 2019 Renovata & Company is pleased to announce Katherine Ray’s appointment as chief marketing officer of Babbel. She will lead the 100-person marketing organization with the mandate to scale the top-grossing consumer business and grow the emerging B2B sector.

Backed by Scottish Equity Partners, Babbel teaches new languages to more than 1 million app subscribers in over 160 countries. The company’s vision is to move from offering a single learning product to a multi-platform experience for anyone learning a new language.

“With her strong background in cross-cultural global marketing and business strategies, including more than 25 years of international experience in consumer-driven brands, Katherine is the right person to lead Babbel’s evolution,” says Thomas Jepsen, Renovata & Company co-founder and partner. “She will grow Babbel’s global consumer business and guide the company from its champion position in digital language learning to global market leadership in overall language learning.”

Prior to joining Babbel, Ray was chief marketing officer and senior vice president at Shiseido, one of the top cosmetics and beauty brands in the world. Prior to that, she was co-founder of a global business consulting firm, vice president of global luxury brands for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and vice president of marketing for Tommy Hilfiger.

“Having spent much of my life building brands across cultures, I joined Babbel to help people learn about culture by accessing language,” Ray says. “People want to learn languages for many reasons; for example, it unlocks access to communication, jobs, travel and education. I know from personal experience that speaking multiple languages expands our way of thinking, and of understanding others and ultimately ourselves.”

Babbel employs 700 people across their Berlin and New York offices. The Babbel language learning app for web, iOS and Android teaches 14 different languages. More than 53,000 lessons fit into everyday life and are split into useful real-world topics, from introducing oneself, to ordering food and making travel arrangements. Every course is created by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers. Fast Company Magazine recognized Babbel as the most innovative education company of 2016. 73% of surveyed users feel that they would be able to hold a conversation within five hours of using the app.


About Renovata & Company
Renovata & Company is a global executive search and private equity advisory firm. We are trusted by financial sponsors, their portfolio companies and public corporations to deliver transformational leaders and valuable investment insights. Renovata & Company’s executive search activities are focused on the most complex search assignments—board-level mandates which include board directors, CEOs, CFOs and other C-suite executives, as well as investment professionals and Operating Partners—and we provide strategic counsel to clients across the technology, digital, business services, industrial, consumer and retail sectors. Renovata & Company has relationships with over 50 of the top 100 private and growth equity firms globally. Our private equity advisory services include diligence support, backable executive introductions and deal sourcing delivered by our affiliate, L Capital Advisors. We also make equity co-investments alongside our private equity clients through our investment affiliate, L Capital.  We are privately held and operate from six offices across two continents: Boston, Hamburg, London, New York, San Francisco and Stockholm.


Thomas Jepsen

Tilanie Salvador


Renovata & Company
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United Kingdom
+44 20 7440 4000

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