Michael Hansen

Michael Hansen

CEO


Cengage Learning

San Diego, CA USA


Confidence is success remembered. Focus on getting accomplishments that will build confidence in your ability to master any challenge that will come your way.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Michael Hansen

Highlight
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01:11
Michael Hansen HighlightInterview Highlight
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04:12
InterviewThe Interview
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02:07
Day In The Life Of The CEO Of An Educational Publishing CompanyWeb Exclusive
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01:17
Confidence Is Your Biggest AssetWeb Exclusive
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01:01
The Importance Of Building A Supportive NetworkInterview Excerpt
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00:54
I Never Had A Career PlanInterview Excerpt
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01:10
What It’s Like To Work At Cengage LearningInterview Excerpt
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01:08
Don’t Let The Fear Of The Unknown Overwhelm YouInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised in Germany—grew up in a small town in an area he describes as “the Detroit of Germany.”
Attended the University of Bonn in Germany where he received a master’s degree in law.
Decided to immigrate to the U.S. and began living in New York City—attended Columbia University where he earned his Master of Business Administration degree.
His first job out of school was at the Boston Consulting Group—ended up working there for 11 years and rose to become a partner and co-chairman of the company's e-business and media practice.
Briefly worked as a senior vice president of international operations for Proxicom where he focused on e-business development.
After leaving Proxicom, he began working at Bertelsmann—a German media corporation—serving as the executive vice president of operational excellence.
He also served as the CEO for Harcourt Assessment and Elsevier Health Sciences.
As CEO of Cengage Learning, he has led the company through a crucial financial restructuring and overseen the development of a first-of-its-kind subscription service for learning materials.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
graduate
Graduate
Law
The University of Bonn, Germany
graduate
Graduate
Business Administration and Management, General
Columbia University in the City of New York
Career

Career

CEO

I work in educational publishing and specialize in the transition from print to digital.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Business
Business
Learning / Being Challenged
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

There is no average day. As the Chief Executive, I am responsible for all aspects of the company. My favorite part of any day is when I get to spend time with customers and go to meetings at institutions and engaging with students. I am always seeking insight and advice on how we can improve our business and our products. A huge part of my role is to continue to remind people here to be aware of how what we are creating impacts the students and to focus on creating things that add value.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Learn how to manage your fear. Don't let it overwhelm or paralyze you. When you run a company, you have to get know your customers and know the benefit of what you are creating for them. Focusing on that creates value. Build your confidence and remember your successes. Learn how to lead people effectively.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Build a network of people who can help you. It's important to always talk through problems and to listen to others. You learn just as much from your peers as you do from your teachers.

Hurdles

Hurdles

Challenges I Overcame

Work Stress
Work Stress

When I started at Cengage, the company was in very bad shape. They had lost focus on the students and were in debt. I had to lead them through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and clean up the balance sheet.