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Rosetta Stone Carves Brand Image With New Opportunities

By Matthew Argersinger - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:00PM

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Steve Swad, CEO of Rosetta Stone, explains how acquisitions and new institutional customers measure up to the potential within retail.

The following video excerpt was taken from an interview with Steve Swad, CEO of Rosetta Stone (RST), in which he talks about his business philosophy, and how it is driving success both for language learners and for the company itself. In this segment, he discusses how acquisition opportunities and new customers will further Rosetta Stone's brand.


Matt Argersinger: So you mentioned on the last call that Rosetta Stone now kind of is in position with the balance sheet that you guys have a little bit of flexibility with cash to go after maybe some acquisitions.

Steve Swad: Yes.

Matt: Any sense of what an acquisition might look like and what you guys would be looking to add capability-wise?

Swad: I mean we're in the market looking. Earlier this week I was talking to companies, and it's something that will speed this strategy that I -- something that will accelerate our brand. New products would be wonderful, that we could modify a little bit and put a Rosetta Stone touch on or expand the distribution, new geographical locations. But take those pillars that we talked about and then are there companies that can help us accelerate within those pillars?

Matt: And what about kind of a strategy of targeting new institutional customers? That was also brought up in the recent call. Any details on that strategy or how it's going?

Swad: That business is run by one of our newer leaders, Judy Verses, and she's doing a wonderful job. She came from Blackboard. And she's in Tokyo as we speak talking to some large potential customers. I would say there's not a week that goes by that Judy's team is not talking to large customers to try to penetrate what is an enormous market around the world.

Matt: Do you think opportunities there are bigger than they are on the retail side?

Swad: They're both big. That's a great question, actually. The market itself, the retail side or consumer side is bigger, but both are enormous. You've heard me say it's an $80 billion global market and our locations, we participate in about $40 billion. That's plenty, and we're a little, tiny $270 million company, so we've got a lot of ad room in the consumer market and in the institutional markets.

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