Cengage Learning

Cengage Learning
Founded 2007
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Boston
Key people
  • Michael Hansen — Chief Executive Officer
  • Fernando Bleichmar – Chief Strategy Officer
  • Alexander Broich – President, International
  • Ken Carson – General Counsel
  • Jim Donohue – Chief Product Officer
  • Sandi Kirshner – Chief Marketing Officer
  • George Moore – Chief Technology Officer
  • Kevin Stone – Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Publication types Educational content, technology, and services
  • 4LTR Press
  • Aplia
  • Cengage Learning PTR
  • Chilton
  • ed2go
  • Gale
  • Milady
  • MindTap
  • National Geographic Learning
Revenue US$1.71 billion (2015)
Owner(s) Apax Partners, Searchlight Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Oaktree Capital Management, Oak Hill Advisors, BlackRock Financial Management, Franklin Mutual Advisers, and others[1]
Number of employees 5,500 (2014)
Official website www.cengage.com

Cengage Learning, Inc. is an educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education, K-12, professional, and library markets worldwide. Cengage Learning has operations in more than 20 countries around the world.[2][3][4]

Company information

The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and has approximately 5,500 employees worldwide across 20 countries. It was headquartered at its Stamford, Connecticut, office until April 2014.

Gale is Cengage Learning's library reference arm and specializes in e-research and educational publishing for libraries, schools and businesses. The company creates and maintains databases that are published online, in print, as e-books and in microform.[5]


Cengage Learning offers print and digital textbooks, instructor supplements, online reference databases, distance learning courses, test preparation materials, corporate training courses, career assessment tools, materials for specific academic disciplines, and custom solutions.


Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, which owned the Wadsworth Publishing imprint, was created out of a restructuring of International Thomson Publishing. It was announced on October 25, 2006, that Thomson Learning would be offered for sale by the Thomson Corporation, with an estimated value of up to US$5 billion.[6][7] The company was bought by a private equity consortium consisting of Apax Partners and OMERS Capital Partners for US$7.75 billion, and the name was changed to Cengage Learning on 24 July 2007.[8] In 2011, Cengage Learning acquired the National Geographic Society's school publishing unit and combined this school business with the Global ELT business to create and launch the National Geographic Learning brand. The global brand combined the former Cengage Learning ELT and National Geographic School Publishing imprints and sub-brands, under one unified identity.[9]

In September 2013 David Shaffer retired from his role of chairman of the company,[10] Shaffer had previously been executive vice president of The Thomson Corporation from 2005 to 2006, and then President and CEO of both Thomson Publishing International and Thomson Learning.[11] The company had acquired a large amount of debt through the course of its initial buyout and subsequent acquisitions, and seen declining revenue through a shrinking market for paper text books. Cengage Learning filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on July 2, 2013.[8][12] Cengage Learning emerged from bankruptcy on April 1, 2014, eliminating approximately $4 billion of its funded debt and securing $1.75 billion in exit financing. Post bankruptcy, the company decided to focus on developing digital study guides and other educational supplements, as well as hard-copy text books. In January 2015 they announced expansion of their LearnLaunch Accelerator program, which provides seed funding and intensive coaching to promising startups, to the University of Chihuahua in Mexico.[13][14]

In November 2016, Cengage Learning rebranded as simply Cengage and rolled out a new branding scheme that highlights its student-centered approach.


In addition to organic growth, Cengage Learning has expanded through acquisitions within the publishing industry. Notable acquisitions include:

Date of acquisition announced Asset acquired Industry
1 March 2004 Education to Go[15] Online continuing education courses
16 May 2008 PAL Publications[16] Professional reference series
2 June 2008 Houghton Mifflin College Division[16] Publishing for 2- and 4-year colleges
17 July 2008 Gatlin Education Services[17] Web-based training for education providers
16 December 2008 HighBeam Research[18] Paid search engine of newspapers and magazines
1 August 2011 National Geographic School Publishing[9] Publishing for K-12 Schools
September 2015 Learning Objects, Inc Learning Management Systems and Adaptive Education Tools
October 2015 Pathbrite, Inc ePortfolio services for learning, reflection, and career advancement
September 2016 WebAssign[19] Online instructional application for faculty and students


The company's product lines include: 4LTR Press, Aplia, Cengage Learning PTR, Chilton, Education To Go, Gale, Milady, MindTap, and National Geographic Learning.


In 2016, based on its 2015 revenues, Publishers Weekly ranked the company at number 14 out of 57 publishers worldwide, a decline of three slots from the previous year. The list includes both trade and educational publishers.[20]


  1. Callum Borchers (1 April 2014). "Cengage emerges from bankruptcy with Boston as its electronic publishing base". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
  2. (Jun 27, 2014) Global Publishing Leaders 2014: Cengage publishersweekly.com
  3. Company Info - Wall Street Journal. Cengage Learning
  4. Company Overview of Cengage Learning, Inc. BloombergBusiness
  5. Gale : A Cengage Learning Company CAUL (Council of Australian University Librarians)
  6. Thomas, Helen (25 October 2006) Thomson to put learning unit on the block. FT Alphaville. Financial Times.
  7. (October 25, 2006) Thomson to sell education units Boston.com
  8. 1 2 "Cengage Learning Files for Bankruptcy". New York Times. July 2, 2013. Retrieved 2014-11-07.
  9. 1 2 Jinks, Beth (June 24, 2011) Apax's Cengage Buying National Geographic's School Publisher Bloomberg.com
  10. Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew (July 6, 2013) Debt-laden Cengage in hunt for new chief The Financial Times
  11. Executive Profile - David H. Shaffer bloomberg.com
  12. Howard, Jennifer (July 3, 2013) Publisher's Bankruptcy Filing Comes as Market for Print Textbooks Shrinks The Chronicle of Higher Education
  13. Borchers, Callum (April 01, 2014) Cengage exits bankruptcy, focuses on e-books in Boston bostonglobe.com
  14. Shulman, Eden (12 Feb, 2015) BetaBoston - Boston Globe
  15. MacFadyen, Ken (June 9, 2008) Thomson Course Technology Acquires Education To Go To Expand Continuing Education Offerings
  16. 1 2 MacFadyen, Ken (June 9, 2008) Cengage Buys Houghton Mifflin's College Unit themiddlemarket.com
  17. Cengage Learning Acquired Gatlin Education Services. Was this a good decision? owler.com
  18. Polanka, Sue (Dec 16, 2008) http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/2008/12/16/highbeam-research-now-part-of-galecengage/ Archived June 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. No Shelf Required - Wright State University Libraries
  19. "Cengage Acquires WebAssign, Strengthening Market Position in Science, Technology and Math". Cengage. 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  20. "The World's 57 Largest Book Publishers, 2015" publishersweekly.com. Jun 26, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-07.


External links

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