Your Global Digital Publishing Partner

About Michael N. Ross

Before establishing Ross & Associates, LLC, in 2017, Michael was the Senior Vice President and Education General Manager at Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., where he led the sales and marketing activities in North America and EMEA (the UK, Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and, for the first eight years of his 15-year tenure, ran the product development and technology teams.

Prior to joining Britannica in 2002, he was the Executive Vice President and Publisher of World Book, Inc., for 11 years, and held executive positions at other publishing companies, including NTC Publishing Group, now part of McGraw-Hill; and McDougal Littell before they were acquired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He began his publishing career as an editor for Time-Life Books and spent three years at their Tokyo bureau.

Throughout his career, Michael has had leadership responsibilities in all areas of publishing including editorial, technology, product development, sales, marketing, and licensing/partnerships. His products and publications have had worldwide circulation, have generated substantial revenue over many years, and have won the highest industry awards, including: The Distinguished Achievement and the Golden Lamp Awards from the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), now a division of the AAP; the GLI Award, presented at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair; Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award; PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award; Parent’s Choice Award; Family PC’s Top 100 Award; and the Software & Information Industry Association’s Codie Award.

Early in his career at NTC, Michael developed their most successful and longest running product lines, including basal and supplemental publications in the fields of reference, foreign languages, ESL, and travel for schools, libraries, and consumers. With global responsibilities, he developed highly successful international partnerships in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia that expanded the company’s product-line margins. Many of his products are still in active circulation with McGraw-Hill.

In the 1990s, he led the editorial technology group at McDougal Littell and pioneered World Book’s transition from print to digital publishing, beginning with the introduction of their first consumer CD-ROM (in collaboration with IBM on development and AOL for distribution), followed by the development of their online databases for schools and libraries. Under his watch, World Book gained the largest market share in the online general reference space, K-8.

At Britannica, Michael led the expansion of the company’s institutional products and databases, with the goal of creating the best-selling online solutions in their categories for both the K-12 and higher education channels. He initiated the development of Britannica’s e-book platform (E-STAX), which produced 20% year-on-year growth since its launch in 2010. He led worldwide partnerships, including licensing for the global consumer market, and conceived the Britannica Digital Learning Group, whose mission was to drive Britannica’s expansion into the classroom. He created Britannica’s first classroom-targeted online product, Pathways: Science; retooled its middle-school math program (which he revised from top to bottom in 2010) into a website; and created Britannica’s most successful new online product, ImageQuest, a database of more than three million images, which is distributed worldwide and available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic, and even Welsh. Under his leadership, Britannica Digital Learning produced double-digit profitability growth every year in both North America and the UK/EMEA.

He holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota; an M.A. from Brandeis University; and a certificate from Stanford University’s Advanced Management College.

Michael lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Kathleen, a special education teacher. He has a daughter and grandson in L.A., a daughter at Emory University and a son at Northwestern.

Awards, Appointments, and Mentions

  • PrintMedia Production Executives’ Hall of Fame (Inducted, 2002)
  • Educational Publishing Hall of Fame (Inducted, 2009)
  • Who’s Who in the World; America; Finance and Industry; the Midwest (1992-present)
  • Featured in BookTech Magazine (August 1998, cover; August 2000); Crain’s Chicago Business (April 6, 1998; August 20, 2001)
  • Member: U.S. Information Agency’s private sector Book and Library Advisory committee (Reagan Administration)
  • “Making It Happen” Award, Association of Educational Publishers, 2004
  • “Member of the Year” Award, Association of Educational Publishers, 2006

Board Positions

Keynote Speaker

  • Licensing Executive Society
  • Hammond Organization
  • PubTech
  • Book Expo America
  • BookTech
  • London Book Fair
  • MacWorld
  • SIIA
  • Shanghai Book Fair
  • Frankfurt Book Fair (Germany; Colombia; Brazil)

Adjunct Professor

  • Graham School of General Studies, Publishing Seminars, The University of Chicago​​​
  • Guest lecturer, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education

"Michael brings 35 years of publishing excellence to every project and opportunity—from creating new product and marketing strategies, to streamlining existing processes to create efficiencies that will improve the bottom line. Michael's network of creative and business professionals is unparalleled in the industry. "

Cath Bruzzone, B Small Publishing, New York/London

 

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