Former Vision Critical marketing SVP joins Top Hat as its first CMO

Nick Stein

Toronto-based Top Hat has announced the hire of Nick Stein, a former senior vice president of marketing at Vision Critical, as its first-ever chief marketing officer.

At Vision Critical, Stein led a global team responsible for brand management, corporate communications, content marketing, demand generation, field marketing, events, and customer marketing.

“Now is the right time to bring on an experienced marketing leader with a proven track record of building high-performing teams and driving growth. Nick has built successful marketing organizations at startups, mid-size companies and large enterprises; his leadership will be of tremendous value as we continue to scale the amazing growth we’ve experienced to date,” said Mike Silagadze, Top Hat co-founder and CEO. Currently, two million students at 650 colleges and universities across North America use Top Hat’s platform.

For its part, Vancouver-based Vision Critical has been on the radar for a possible IPO, though at the time that the company sold its research consulting division earlier this year, CEO Scott Miller indicated that there was “no rush” to IPO.

Stein has also acted as a senior director of marketing at Salesforce and a director of marketing at Rypple; the latter was acquired by Salesforce in 2012.

“Top Hat’s innovative platform, unique business model, world-class management team and top-flight investors are what attracted me to this opportunity,” said Stein, who noted that Top Hat has grown its revenue by 5300 percent over the last four years. To date, Top Hat has raised $22 million in venture capital funding.

“Their success demonstrates a tremendous pent up need from university professors to provide a more engaging, interactive and immersive classroom experience to their students,” said Stein. “And they have attracted accomplished venture capital firms including Emergence Capital, an early investor in Salesforce.com, Box and Yammer, and Georgian Partners, which backed Shopify. I’m excited to build the marketing function and help them realize the enormous potential they’ve created.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor.