Skillsoft CEO Jeff Tarr leaves

  • After less than three years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Tarr
  • Ron Hovsepian taking over
  • Tarr said 66 words

(exechange) — Denver, Colorado, April 15, 2024 — Jeff Tarr, chief executive of Skillsoft, leaves his position. As announced by Skillsoft Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, April 15, 2024, Jeffrey R. (Jeff) Tarr leaves his post as chief executive officer at the educational technology company, after less than three years in the role, effective April 16, 2024.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post abruptly and after a short tenure.

Jeff Tarr’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Ronald W. (Ron) Hovsepian, previously Chief Executive Officer at Indigo Ag, as Executive Chair and principal executive officer.

Already a director

Hovsepian has already been a member of the board of directors of Skillsoft. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Hovsepian understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Skillsoft’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“Unlock value”

Skillsoft did not give an explicit reason for Jeff Tarr’s departure from the CEO post. Patrick Kolek, Skillsoft’s prior Chair, stated: “Ron is a proven leader with an impressive track record, and his insights will be instrumental as we work to unlock value for Skillsoft, our stockholders and other stakeholders.”

Precise information regarding Jeff Tarr’s future plans was not immediately available.


Skillsoft said: “Ronald Hovsepian has been appointed as the Company’s Executive Chair and will serve as principal executive officer, effective as of April 16, 2024. This appointment follows Jeffrey R. Tarr’s decision to retire from his role as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, also effective April 16, 2024. To ensure a smooth transition, Mr. Tarr will serve in an advisory capacity over the coming weeks.”

Share price decline since June 2021

The announcement follows a decline in Skillsoft Corp.’s share price of 96% since June 2021. June 2021 is the month in which Tarr’s tenure as CEO began.

In the position of CEO since 2021

Jeff Tarr became CEO of the Company in 2021.

Jeffrey R. Tarr has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and President and as a director since June 2021.

Prior to joining Skillsoft, Tarr was CEO, President, and a director of DigitalGlobe, a satellite imagery and geospatial intelligence company, from 2011 until the sale of the company in 2017 to MDA (now Maxar Technologies).

Subsequently, Tarr served as an advisor to TPG, other leading private equity firms and corporate clients, and from June through October 2019 served as CEO and a director of Solera Global Holdings Corp.

Prior to DigitalGlobe, he was President & COO of IHS (now part of S&P Global) and Chairman & CEO of the publicly traded business information company Hoover’s, Inc. (now a part of Dun & Bradstreet).

Tarr began his career with Bain & Company.

He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Tarr currently serves on the board of EchoStar Corp. and is a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council.

Tarr previously served on the board of DSST Public Schools, one of the leading open enrollment school systems in the United States, and on the board of CEB (The Corporate Executive Board Company) until the sale of the company to Gartner in 2017.

He also served as Chairman of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board, co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Space Technologies, and co- Chair of the Annual Meeting of New Champions in Dalian China.

Tarr is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

66 words by Jeff Tarr

In the release announcing his departure as CEO of Skillsoft Corp., Jeff Tarr received praise, thanks and good wishes.

In announcing his departure, Jeff Tarr said 66 words.

“Dedicating more time to board work and personal interests”

Jeff Tarr stated: “It has been a privilege and an honor to lead Skillsoft since taking the Company public in 2021. In my next chapter, I look forward to pursuing my passion for CEO coaching and dedicating more time to board work and personal interests. I remain a stockholder and believe Skillsoft has a strong foundation and is well positioned to take advantage of the attractive market opportunities ahead.”

The above text is an excerpt from the exechange report 17.2024 ($), publication date April 22, 2024.