Completed Search: Vice President of Operations Career Opportunity: Kaplan Professional

By January 5, 2019September 25th, 2019No Comments

Vice President of Operations Career Opportunity Kaplan Professional

Vice President of Operations

COMPLETED- This position has been filled.


Kaplan Professional, headquartered in La Crosse, WI is a business operating unit of Kaplan, Inc., a Graham Holdings, Inc. company. Kaplan Professional helps professionals obtain and maintain in-demand certifications, licensing, and designations that enable them to advance and succeed in their careers. With offices in the US, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Middle East, and Australia, KP’s global footprint provides educational programs and solutions to corporations, institutions, and individuals from around the world. Kaplan Professional partners with organizations to solve their talent management challenges through customized corporate learning and development solutions. Through live and online instruction, KP delivers these educational training programs in a diverse range of industry and professional sectors – notably financial services, wealth management, real estate, accountancy, insurance, securities, engineering, and architecture.

On May 4, 2018, KP acquired Professional Publications, Inc. (PPI), an independent publisher of professional licensing exam review materials and recognized leader in engineering, surveying, architecture, and interior design exam preparation. PPI delivers courses and produces print and online materials for the Fundamentals of Engineering and various Professional Engineering exams in fields such as chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and structural engineering.

On July 12, 2018, KP acquired the College for Financial Planning (CFFP). CFFP offers financial education and training to individuals through comprehensive programs of study that lead to licensing or certification, as well as graduate-level education for professionals pursuing the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and other financial designations. The acquisition complements KP’s existing wealth management education offerings and will add new professional designations and degrees to the KP portfolio. CFFP is an HLC-accredited institution.

The KP portfolio also includes KITE (Kaplan International Tools for English) an adaptive English language assessment system that delivers instant proficiency evaluations. KITE is used by universities, institutions and businesses worldwide to accurately assess individual’s English language ability and make decisions about placement, hiring and advancement.

Program Offerings and Enrollment

KP U.S. serves approximately 3,587 business-to-business clients, including 157 Fortune 500 companies. In 2018, more than 491,000 students used KP’s exam preparation offerings.

Programs offered include Kaplan Schweser Advanced Designations (CFA®, FRM®, and CAIA®), Kaplan Financial Education (Securities, Insurance, CFP® Certification, and Accountancy CE), Kaplan Real Estate Education (Real Estate, Home Inspection and Appraisal), Kaplan Architecture, PPI (Engineering, Surveying and Interior Design), College for Financial Planning Certifications (CFP® CRPC®, CRPS®, APMA®, AWMA®, CMFC®, and LUTCF®, as well as Master’s Degree programs in Finance), Kaplan Dearborn (wholesale real estate division) and Leadership and Professional Development.

Competitive Landscape

Kaplan Professional offers a broad portfolio of products, many within highly regulated and mature industries including Securities, Insurance, Real Estate, and Wealth Management, where domestic competition includes a wide variety of national, regional and local companies all seeking the same market share, resulting in deep price discounting and commoditization of offerings. As KP expands its leadership and professional development offerings to global clients, the competition becomes broader to include Managed Learning Service Providers and other aggregators of corporate educational solutions.

About Kaplan, Inc.

Kaplan, Inc. serves over one million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, and university preparation programs, and offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Across its 80 year history, first as small test-prep pioneer and then an early online education leader and now a global education provider, Kaplan has been recognized for expanding educational access and using technology and learning science innovations to continually improve outcomes for its students and partners. Kaplan has operations in over 30 countries, employs more than 13,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and about 10,000 corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit

The Opportunity

The Vice President of Operations at Kaplan Professional is a critical member of the senior leadership team. Reporting to the CEO, this executive will improve operational efficiencies by implementing a common set of best practices across Kaplan Professionals multiple business lines. Kaplan Professional has grown through acquisition, and the processes for creating, editing, and delivering instructional content are not consistent across programs. The product leaders who create the content will rely on the VP Operations to improve and standardize these processes, increasing speed to market, and the ability to meet customer needs. The VP Operations will also transform call center operations and work with the rest of the senior leadership team to foster a data- driven and customer-centric company culture

Specifically, the VP Operations will:

  • Apply the lesson of lean manufacturing to implement consistent processes across Kaplan Professional’s programs
  • Improve call center operations by leveraging customer interactions to build more productive and profitable customer relationships
  • Fully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions
  • Continue to drive toward a culture of customer-centric, continuous improvement supported by data
  • Increase speed to market and the ability to respond to customer needs

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position is a senior operation executive with experience leading large-scale change. Candidates should have experience applying the principles of lean manufacturing to improve processes, increase agility, and provide value to the customer. Candidates should have a track record of improving overall operational efficiencies and delivering impressive results.

Specifically, we are looking for the following skills and experience:

  • leading large-scale change focused on continuous improvement
  • integrating acquisitions and aligning processes
  • managing customer support functions
  • project management
  • using data to make decisions that benefit the customer, and teaching others to do the same
  • fostering a culture shift by sharing a vision but also rolling up their sleeves
  • working in a complex matrixed environment
  • working as a member of a collaborative but decisive executive team

Although not required, operations management experience associated with the production, editing, and delivery of instructional content is a plus.

The role is located in La Crosse, WI. Located alongside the Mississippi River, La Crosse is the largest city on Wisconsin’s western border, close to Minneapolis, Madison, and Chicago. The educational institutions in the city have recently led La Crosse toward becoming a regional technology and medical hub.

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