Richard Robinson has been President of Scholastic Inc. (NASDAQ: SCHL) since 1974, Chief Executive Officer since 1975, and Chairman of the Board since 1982. He is the second of only two leaders in the history of the company, having succeeded his father, M. R. Robinson, who founded Scholastic in Pittsburgh in 1920 with the publication of a single classroom magazine, The Western Pennsylvania Scholastic. Under Richard Robinson’s leadership, Scholastic has become the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, an industry leader in educational technology and services, and a force in the digital world of children’s media and e-commerce.
With annual revenue of about $1.8 billion and more than 9,500 employees worldwide, Scholastic sells approximately one out of every two children’s books in the U.S. through its school-based Scholastic Reading Club and Book Fairs, retail outlets, and online portals. During Mr. Robinson’s tenure, Scholastic has successfully launched popular series such as Harry Potter®, Captain Underpants®, The Hunger Games, Clifford the Big Red Dog®, Goosebumps®, I SPY®, The Magic School Bus® and the multi-platform The 39 Clues®, among many others. Each year, Scholastic publishes more than 600 new titles for readers from birth through teens in print and digital formats. In 2012, Scholastic launched Storia®, a unique ebook application and ereading system designed specifically for readers from toddlers to teens.
Over the past decade, Scholastic has led the way in offering comprehensive solutions to educational challenges for schools nationwide. With gold-standard reading and math intervention programs like READ 180® Next Generation and MATH 180®, instructional materials including Guided Reading and classroom book collections, and 23 classroom magazines used by more than 13 million subscribers. Scholastic has cemented its reputation as a valued source for innovative educational technology and services. In addition, the Scholastic Education group offers an array of programs that support family and community engagement to help raise student achievement.
Scholastic has also developed a rich content and e-commerce experience for teachers, parents, and children on scholastic.com, which attracts nearly one billion page views annually and is the #1 website used by teachers in grades pre-K to 6.. In addition, the Scholastic Media division successfully leverages the company’s popular brands through multiple platforms including television, film, video, audio, interactive games and mobile apps.
Internationally, Mr. Robinson has driven Scholastic’s global expansion in the 13 countries where the Company has operations and has increased export to an additional 135 countries in 45 different languages.
For Scholastic’s 90th anniversary, Mr. Robinson authored the “Reading Bill of Rights,” which affirms every child’s right to read and succeed in the 21st century, and formed the core of the Company’s global literacy campaign, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life.
Mr. Robinson continues to lead the Company’s support of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, a program his father founded in 1923 to recognize and encourage the nation’s most talented teen artists and writers. Past Award recipients include Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, and Sylvia Plath. Over the past five years alone, the program has awarded more than $25 million in scholarships to talented students in grades 7-12.
Throughout his career, Mr. Robinson has received numerous honors, including Book Business Magazine’s 2010 Publishing Innovator of the Year, the Corporate Leadership Award from Save the Children, the Robin Hood Foundation’s John F. Kennedy, Jr. Corporate Hero Award in recognition of his efforts to improve literacy, and the Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Mr. Robinson was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers Hall of Fame in 2001.
A former high school English teacher, Mr. Robinson joined Scholastic in 1962 as an Assistant Editor. He served many roles within the company including Editor, Editorial Director, founder of Scholastic Scope Magazine and Vice President and Publisher of Scholastic’s School Division before becoming CEO. Born in Pittsburgh, Mr. Robinson graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College. He also studied at Cambridge University and at Teachers College, Columbia University.