Julie Hansen Named CEO US of Babbel, the World’s Most Innovative Company in Education

  • Former COO and President of Business Insider to lead Babbel Inc.
  • Key appointment will propel the language learning company’s goal for U.S. market leadership
  • Hansen believes “superior product” will succeed in language learning market
Babbel's app is the shortest path to a conversation in a new language. To start the new year, the company welcomes Julie Hansen as U.S. Chief Executive Officer (CEO US). Effective immediately, the online veteran and former COO and President of Business Insider spearheads the next phase of development in the U.S. online learning market. She will take over the lead from Babbel founder Thomas Holl, who transitions to Chief Strategy Officer in the company’s Berlin headquarters. Since 2015, Holl has been building a growing presence for Babbel in the U.S., implementing the company’s DNA from the beginning.

Hansen’s appointment marks the startup’s commitment to make Babbel a household brand and continue its unparalleled success. With more than one million current paying subscribers and six-digit downloads per day, it is the most successful online language learning program worldwide. Hansen was Business Insider’s fifth employee, and it was under her leadership that the news site became the most visited business outlet on the internet; she is driven by the potential to make a similarly massive impact at Babbel.

“I am thrilled about starting at Babbel, as this brings me back to my entrepreneurial roots,” says Julie Hansen, Babbel CEO US. “Given how interconnected our world is today, learning a language has never been more relevant. In a growing digital learning market, Babbel is clearly the only company that understands how to teach, effectively, languages online. It offers a superior product and a working business model. The product and company are second to none.”

Babbel’s app combines the strongest academic research with advanced learning technology. In fact, the company’s promise to provide the shortest path to a real life conversation is a fact: A recent independent study has proven that Babbel users learn faster than users of other language learning apps.1 Additionally Fast Company Magazine named Babbel the world’s most innovative company in education.

“We are proud to welcome Julie on board, who besides having a track record in publishing, also has vast experience in consumer learning products,” Markus Witte, global CEO and founder of Babbel. “As millions of more Americans embrace learning a new language, she will make sure that Babbel is their go-to app. A product that delivers results by making them speak their new language like they always wanted to.”

Prior to Babbel and Business Insider, Hansen held top management roles at sports site NCAA.com and Condé Nast Publications, and has over two decades of experience expanding online media companies, launching interactive web sites, deploying mobile apps, and leading online and offline marketing campaigns. She began her career at Penguin Books.


1 Vesselinov & Grego. The Babbel Efficacy Study. 2016


About Babbel

Babbel – the app that helps you speak a new language like you’ve always wanted to. When learning a language, nothing is more rewarding than a real conversation. 73% of surveyed customers feel that they’d be able to hold a conversation within five hours of using the app.

The Babbel language learning app for web, iOS and Android makes it easy to learn 14 different languages from 7 display languages. Bite-sized lessons fit into everyday life and are split into useful real-world topics, from introducing oneself, to ordering food and making travel arrangements. The app’s effective game mechanics ensure that learners stay motivated to achieve their goals, with the average user continuing to learn with Babbel for more than 12 months. Uniquely, every course is created specifically for each language pair by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers. Fast Company Magazine recognised Babbel as the most innovative education company of 2016.

Babbel was founded in 2007 by Markus Witte (Chief Executive Officer) and Thomas Holl (Chief Strategy Officer). Since then, the team has grown to over 600 people from more than 50 nations, spread between Berlin and New York. With no ads, and a transparent, subscription-based business model, the company’s focus remains firmly on getting learners conversational fast.The company recently surpassed 1,000,000 active paying subscribers.

For more information, visit www.Babbel.com

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