CMO 50: Kim Caldbeck

Chief marketing officer, Coursera

People stuck at home during the pandemic were looking to make the most of their time in lockdown — and Coursera was there to help. The online learning platform boasts thousands of free online courses in collaboration with U.S. universities, on topics ranging from data science, to health to arts and humanities. People can take a course to earn a degree or certificate, pick up a new hobby or advance their career. 

Chief marketing officer Kim Caldbeck, who joined Mountain View-based Coursera in 2015, has a background as a tech marketer at giants Facebook and Apple. Moving into the CMO role in June 2018, she oversaw marketing during the rollout of Coursera for Campus, which allows more than 4,000 colleges to offer the platform’s library of online courses to students.

Caldbeck has steered Coursera’s marketing team through the pandemic explosion. The platform saw a 640% spike in engagement for its massive open online courses from mid-March to mid-April 2020 over the same period in 2019, as 10.3 million people turned to Coursera to stay sharp in lockdown. Caldbeck also steered Coursera through its IPO in March, in which the company’s shares closed up 36% on its first day of trading, reaching a $5.9 billion market cap. Coursera’s platform reaches 82 million users.

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