Top Hat’s Maggie Leen appointed CEO two months after Joe Rohrlich’s quiet departure

Maggie Leen
EdTech firm has also tapped Larry Indovina for the new role of COO.

Toronto-based online education firm Top Hat has tapped its former CMO, Maggie Leen, to lead the company as CEO. 

The appointment comes roughly two months after BetaKit was first to report that Top Hat’s CEO Joe Rohrlich and CRO Matt Schurk had quietly departed the EdTech company. At the time, Top Hat said that Leen would be taking on an expanded role within the business. In a statement announcing her appointment, Top Hat said Leen was “instrumental in shaping the company’s corporate and go-to-market strategy” during her tenure as CMO. 

“I am honoured to lead the exceptional team we have assembled at Top Hat,” Leen said in the statement. “With our accelerating product innovation, talented people, and our proven ability to improve learning outcomes for students, we are already writing the next chapter of our growth story.”

Prior to joining Top Hat, Leen served as a senior executive at education firms Pearson and Adtalem.

Eric Gardiner, Top Hat’s director of marketing, thought leadership, and educational programming, said the company has not sought a replacement for former CRO Schurk, who BetaKit reported left Top Hat in January and joined Texas delivery software provider Auctane as chief sales officer. 

Since January, Rohrlich has served as CEO of San Francisco-based subscription and billing platform Recurly, according to his LinkedIn page.

As Top Hat’s CEO, Leen will lead the company’s corporate and go-to-market strategy. “Consolidating these functions under her leadership will allow Top Hat to continue the momentum we have realized through our growth strategy,” Gardiner added.

Gardiner said this recent momentum includes the growth in adoption of Top Hat’s software among faculty and students, as well as the addition of a number of site-wide licencing agreements. He said Top Hat has also accelerated “its pace of innovation,” which includes the November 2023 launch of Top Hat Ace, an artificial intelligence-powered assistant for educators.

RELATED: Top Hat CEO Joe Rohrlich and CRO Matt Schurk depart EdTech company

Leen’s appointment was one of several announced by Top Hat on March 15. Larry Indovina, who has served as the company’s chief people officer since 2020, has been named COO, which is an entirely new position at the company, according to Gardiner.

“In many respects, Larry has been unofficially leading this function for some time, playing an important role in our M&A activities, heading up IT facilities, and a number of business transformation initiatives,” Gardiner said, adding that Indovina will now work closely with Top Hat’s leadership to “capitalize on opportunities for increased organizational effectiveness.”

Top Hat has also added Bill Okun to its board of directors as executive chairman. Okun has previously held board and senior executive roles at McGraw-Hill, Penn Foster Group, Reonomy, and S&P Capital IQ.

Top Hat’s leadership changes come about seven months after BetaKit reported that Top Hat cut  42 employees, or less than 10 percent of its team, as part of a “workforce optimization initiative” in August 2023. Following those layoffs, Top Hat added former Ancestry finance leader Curtis Tripoli as CFO.

These latest appointments add to a growing list of Canadian tech companies making leadership changes in the last six months, which include Unbounce, MindBridge, Untether AI, Cinchy, Alida, and NowVertical, among many others.

Feature image courtesy Top Hat.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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