Executive Leadership Team
CEO and Director
Jeff Tarr is Chief Executive Officer of Skillsoft and brings a successful track record of building tech-enabled services companies into trusted industry leaders.
Over the last two decades, he has built three publicly traded, tech-enabled information companies into industry leaders. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of DigitalGlobe, the world leader in satellite imagery and geospatial intelligence, from 2011 until the sale of the company to MDA (now Maxar Technologies) in 2017. Subsequently, Jeff served as an advisor to TPG, other leading private equity firms and corporate clients. From June through October 2019, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Solera Holdings. Prior to DigitalGlobe, Jeff was President and Chief Operations Officer of IHS (now IHS Markit) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the publicly-traded business information company, Hoover’s, Inc. (now a division of D&B). He began his career with Bain & Company.
Jeff currently serves on the board of EchoStar and is Chairman Emeritus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board. He also serves on the board of DSST Public Schools, one of the leading open enrollment school systems in the United States. He previously served on the board of CEB (The Corporate Executive Board Company) until the sale of the company to Gartner in 2017. Jeff also served as co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Council on the Future of Space Technologies and co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of New Champions in Dalian China. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Jeff holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs.
Chief Marketing Officer
As Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle is responsible for the leading global marketing strategy for the Skillsoft group of companies, focused on driving growth, generating brand awareness and increasing demand for Skillsoft’s solutions among learners, customers and partners. Since joining the company in 2019, she has overseen customer marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, marketing operations and business development.
Michelle brings more than 25 years of marketing, branding and strategy experience to her role. Prior to Skillsoft, she held several executive positions of increasing responsibility in the high-tech sector, including as Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Watson, where she was responsible for marketing the company's artificial intelligence (AI) products and solutions. Michelle also served as the Global Head of Marketing for The Weather Company, an IBM Business, where she helped companies understand how to anticipate, plan for and ultimately make better decisions – with greater confidence - in the face of weather.
Michelle holds a Masters of Science from Simmons University.
Chief Legal Officer
As Skillsoft’s Chief Legal Officer, Sarah spearheads worldwide legal matters for the Skillsoft group of companies. She joined Skillsoft in 2021, bringing more than 25 years of experience practicing corporate law.
Sarah most recently served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for National CineMedia. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel for CH2M Hill Companies, Ltd. While at CH2M, she led a team that was responsible for global legal corporate enterprise matters including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, securities compliance, treasury and finance activities, real estate, and board and subsidiary governance.
Sarah began her career at Hogan & Hartson, LLP in the Business and Finance Group and became a partner in 2004. During her time at the firm, she focused on mergers and acquisitions, strategic joint ventures and corporate finance, among other corporate matters, for a broad array of clients.
Sarah holds a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Chief Accounting Officer and interim Chief Financial Officer
Ryan is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 20 years of professional experience, including more than 10 years leading global accounting and finance organizations for publicly traded companies, where he led efforts to improve processes, streamline operations and install organizational discipline.
Ryan previously served as Skillsoft’s Senior Vice President of Finance, where he led global accounting, tax and treasury functions. Prior to that, he was VP of Finance, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer of Avid Technology, Inc. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management.
Chief Content Officer
Since becoming Chief Content Officer in 2018, Mark has been responsible for leading all aspects of Skillsoft’s content catalogue, including strategic direction, roadmap and development.
Mark previously served SVP of Skillsoft Books, successfully launching the company’s book summary product, increasing the audiobook collection by more than 60% and creating the largest collection of audiobooks in the corporate learning market. Prior to Skillsoft Books, Mark led Skillsoft’s strategic business development, where he worked on cross-functional projects and services teams to deliver integrated learning experiences with key clients.
Mark became Skillsoft’s VP, Content Production after the company acquired Element K in 2011. His career with Element K spanned 15 years, where he was responsible for product strategy, content development and operational execution.
Mark holds an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and Bachelors of Science in Finance and Economics from State University of New York, College at Brockport.
Apratim Purakayastha (AP)
Chief Technology Officer
As Skillsoft’s Chief Technology Officer, AP is responsible for engineering, product management, cloud operations and IT across all products in the Skillsoft group of companies, a role he has held since 2016.
AP has extensive experience supporting rapidly growing technology companies, including as General Manager and SVP of SaaS at SevOne, where he was responsible for the on-demand / SaaS business segment. He previously served as Group President at ACI Worldwide and as Director of Software at IBM.
AP holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke University, Masters of Science in Computer Science from Washington State University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Jadavpur University in India.
Chief Revenue Officer
A global technology executive with extensive strategy and growth experience, Eric joined Skillsoft as Chief Revenue Officer in 2021.
He previously served as Chief of Staff for the President of Global Sales, Services and Customer Engagement at SAP, where he supported global go-to-market strategy and operations. Prior to that, he was Chief Revenue Officer at Qualtrics and Chief Innovation Officer for SAP America.
Earlier in his career, Eric held positions of increasing seniority at SAP, Ciber, Virtustream and Blackboard.
Eric is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Boston University School of Law and founder of the Eric & Neil Stine-Markman Scholarship, the first permanent endowment to dedicate scholarship funds to the LGBTQ+ community. He also plays active board and fundraising roles for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Yale Pediatrics and Northwestern University.
Eric holds a Juris Doctorate from the Boston University School of Law and Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and History from Northwestern University.
Chief Corporate Strategy and Development Officer and President, SumTotal
Rich joined Skillsoft as Chief Corporate Strategy and Development Officer and President, SumTotal in 2021. He brings extensive strategic, financial, operational and merger and acquisition experience.
Rich is an advisor to Churchill Capital and a member of the Board of Directors at ServiceSource, where he previously served as Chief Financial Officer. He also founded The Bison Group, a private partnership that collaborates with private equity firms investing in the information services industry. Prior to that, he held executive leadership positions of increasing responsibility at IHS (now IHS Markit), including Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, among others. In those roles, he built the corporate strategy and development function and led the completion of more than 60 strategic acquisitions.
Rich holds an MBA from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Colorado, magna cum laude.