2020 Executive Excellence Awards: Matt Hulett, President, Rosetta Stone Inc.

Hulett has worked to bring Rosetta Stone Inc. into a new age

This article appears in print in the January/February 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Executive Excellence Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

When Matt Hulett joined education-technology language software company Rosetta Stone as president in August 2017, it had only recently stopped selling CDs. It barely had a mobile app and was suffering from declining revenue as it increasingly abandoned its consumer business to focus on large companies.

Hulett, though, immediately recognized the tremendous upside of the larger individual consumer market and shifted strategy to take advantage of Rosetta Stone’s 97% brand awareness in the United States. The company offers 30 different languages.

His new focus on innovation also led to the creation of a mobile app and an affordable subscription-based pricing model. Hulett also revamped Arlington, Virginia-based Rosetta Stone’s business into a cloud-based model.

Hulett, who is based in Seattle, explained his leadership philosophy on a recent “Entrepreneurs Problem Solvers” podcast. The key elements of that philosophy are “heart and math,” which focuses on the market and inspiring employees; “proving out the insight,” which emphasizes what the company does better than competitors; and “people,” which involves soliciting revenue and product ideas from employees.

Hulett quickly discovered that Rosetta’s engineering team had “great ideas” for product improvement and began implementing those right away.

Hulett holds weekly open-office hours via video conference and also has a Slack channel called “AskMatt-Anything.”

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