Passing the baton - an introduction from our CEO
Do jugglers have a favourite ball (club or fiery hoop)? Mine has always been product design but the ball has outgrown the juggler. After seventeen years of thinking about, sketching out, testing out and then rolling out new features, functions and enhancements, it's time to hand it on to a more experienced and accomplished performer so that I can do a much better job of being CEO (and mischief maker). We needed a new 'designer-in-chief' with huge ambition and a passion for learning.
Enter Shane Rae, our new Chief Product Officer, who will be the product champion constantly selling our product internally and externally, inspiring staff and pitching to partners, investors, and the board. He will help us make the right prioritisation decisions – we have too much good stuff to do and limitless ambition! We can’t do everything, so it will be Shane’s job to help our leaders align on what we’re aiming for while leaving the HOW for the teams.
Shane’s role will be to empower the product team – to make this a product-led business, with cross-functional working engrained in how we work. We want the CPO to make PebblePad the best place in EdTech to work in product. Every day he’ll be working to remove obstacles, create clarity for folks at all levels, support senior leaders in other departments where needed, improve the way our teams are working, and – most importantly - deliver results. And occasionally, the new CPO might indulge in reviewing a sketch or two from the CEO! Welcome, Shane.
Keeping the 'education' focus in Ed Tech - some words from our CPO
I've worked for over two decades in the education and technology sectors, and my background in education heavily informs my product ‘philosophy’. Like so many teachers, I feel like I was born to work in education. I spent the first part of my professional life working in the classroom and I loved it. As technology began to find its place in helping to improve outcomes for learners, I knew there was a world of opportunity to really help both educators and learners on the global landscape.
I left the ‘chalk face’ and became a Product Guy in the EdTech sector. I also brought with me the principles I had learned around differentiation, which have formed the basis of my approach to fostering innovation and growth within the realm of product. All educators and learners are different, and to help both fully reach their potential we need to keep that right up front in our thinking. PebblePad is an amazing platform and I love it because it has those principles at its heart. The entire team here is unified in our passion for education and we know there is so much more we can do to help.
I'm incredibly excited to have joined the PebblePad family and look forward to my role in PebblePad's continued success at crafting purposeful technology to help educators support, guide and develop students along every step of their learning journey. One of the things that makes PebblePad unique is that it's a platform designed by educators for educators. I want every educator and learner to feel like PebblePad was made for them - that we understand them and their needs. We want to continue to build relationships as a trusted partner.