Cengage, an education and technology company, today announced the appointment of Rebecca McNamara as Chief Integration Officer, reporting directly to CEO Michael Hansen as part of the Executive Team. McNamara will lead all integration initiatives for the company’s planned merger with McGraw-Hill, which is expected to close in early 2020.
“I am thrilled to have Rebecca lead our integration efforts during this pivotal moment in our company’s journey,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage. “Having worked with Rebecca since my first day at Cengage, I am confident that there is no one better suited to lead us through this critical stage of transition. Her deep experience will guide the alignment of operating models, people and cultures to enable our new company to deliver on strategy and, ultimately, ensure a better learning experience for our customers.”
McNamara brings valuable expertise and experience to the new position, having played a central role in the pre-merger announcement activities, including due diligence and developing baseline synergies. As Chief Integration Officer, she will oversee strategic planning and the post-merger implementation, including leadership of the cross-functional team responsible for ensuring both cultural and organizational alignment across companies and the plan to achieve cost synergies. The combined companies will have a clear path to an efficient, combined operating model starting on day one and be well-positioned to drive the benefits of greater scale to support student achievement.
The merger of Cengage and McGraw-Hill will provide college students with more affordable access to high-quality course materials and platforms. Both companies have already made significant investments in new business models to lower college students’ costs, including Inclusive Access and Cengage Unlimited, the industry’s first all-access subscription for eBooks, online homework access codes and study guides. Students using the subscription service saved more than $60 million during the 2018-19 academic year, and the new company plans to grow these types of affordability initiatives.
“I am excited to take on this role and believe my experience supporting our business transformation has equipped me to lead through our company’s next chapter,” said Rebecca McNamara. “The deep relationships I’ve built within Cengage over the years will be invaluable as I work with the integration team to develop and implement plans for aligning the two organizations.”
Based in Cengage’s Boston office, McNamara has been with Cengage for more than 15 years. Most recently, she served as Interim Chief Financial Officer, leading Cengage through a period of significant business transformation with the successful launch of Cengage Unlimited. Prior to this role, McNamara held a number of senior finance roles within the organization, including Senior Vice President, Finance Planning & Analysis, as well as Vice President, Strategic Finance. Previously, she held positions at Thomson Reuters and TheStreet.com.
McNamara holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Lehigh University and an MBA, specializing in Finance and Economics, from Columbia Business School.