On Monday of this past week Michael Chasen announced that he is leaving Blackboard, the company he co-founded in 1997 and has led as CEO since 2001. Blackboard simultaneously announced the appointment of Jay Bhatt, a software industry executive as the immediate replacement.

As Rip Empson has noted in TechCrunch, this is the end of an era. I agree with Josh Kim and Ray Henderson in calling out Michael Chasen’s role as an industry pioneer, and I would argue that Chasen was the leading force in creating the enterprise-level, mission-critical educational technology market. Henderson also points out that Chasen played a leading role in developing a sustainable revenue model that enabled much of the transformation seen over the past decade.


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