“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler.
My 4 ½ year journey comes to an end, but it felt like both Babbel & I experienced a decade-worth of change, advancement and growth. I wanted to take a moment to thank every Babbelonian that made it so enriching. And to my family for the leap of faith to change countries again. ✈️
When asked about the one thing I’ll miss: like countless Babbelonians, I pointed to this. You onboarded me to a new culture. You live & breathe our purpose to create mutual understanding – for us and our learners. You are what makes Babbel unique. There’s so many of you to name and I fear missing one out. But you know who you are! Seeing your goodbye messages come far and wide was heart-warming. Sorry for being speechless on the farewell call. Thanks and you rock!
Babbelonians helped me blend in a new culture; to learn and reflect on my values and identity.
Product & Leadership 🎯
When I took over leadership of the PM team early 2018 and was asked to double it, I was still learning to lead at scale. Not every strategy, organisation and process change was straight-forward – especially restructuring into tribes. I want to thank all the PMs for their trust, commitment patience while I figured it. Looking back at how far we’ve come makes me proud: from how & how many decisions we make using data, to how consistent we’ve become at driving outcomes; from lateral transitions to well-deserved promotions. Leading designers and product marketeers was a step change; thanks for the smooth transition. You’ve all been tremendous partners!
Scale-up to IPO-ready 🚀
I want to thank all Impressionists (members of our revenue & growth tribe) for your drive to hack, clean-up and scale. You should be proud of launching free-trial, a platform for new subscriptions like multi-user & lifetime plans, a platform for promotions and iterating on content. Your contribution and strong collaboration with Marketing, CS, etc, chipped strongly into our user & revenue growth.
I owe a great deal to the inspiring leaders that challenged, inspired, and guided me through it – Martin Keuter (ex-COO), Geoff Stead (CPO) and Julie Hansen (CRO & CEO, US). I learned a lot, but most of all, you helped sharpen my strategic thinking, organisation development and change management skills.
From that day in August 2017 when our Leadership team was setup, to co-owning company-level objectives. I’ve gained so much from brainstorming, reflecting and having difficult conversations with you all 🧡.
Tandem leadership with my partner, Gaetano Contaldi, was the highlight of the last 2 years. Co-leading (and co-parenting) is how we got our IXA farm to join-up on the big-picture, like a mission-driven, empowered unit, even if that meant switching focus from dear poultry to a seasonal crop. 🚜
Being part of the Product-Engineering and Marketing leadership teams at the same time served as a master class in running a business. I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the ProductLeads; from our ski-trip to figuring out strategy 2025 (and a playlist to match).
Perspectives & Privilege 🌈
I want to thank Babbel for making me part of its high trust, warm & diverse culture. Working directly C-level execs with different responsibilities meant understanding and driving strategy, decisions and impact from 3 perspectives — that of a COO, CPO & CRO — all critical to long-term success of a product-led organisation. Our push towards DEI awareness & action is incredible and just what the world needs in this moment. Despite speaking 5 Indian languages, I hadn’t reflected on the role of language in who I am, like I did here. Babbel allowed me to offer mentoring & coaching sessions and give back that way. It’s a privilege and I’m truly grateful for all the (equal) opportunities I’ve had to learn, perform & grow. 🙇🏽♂️🙏🏻🙌🏼
Thanks for stopping by, and keep in touch. 🤗