Thank you French American Chamber of Commerce! Honored to be a Role Model.

I don’t really like to talk about myself, but when you win an award, people talk about you even if it embarrasses you. So I’m going to share my thank yous here from this week’s French American Business Awards.

I had a great time at the French American Business Awards (May 26, 2017), organized by the French Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco. My special thank you to Sophie Woodville Ducom and Laurence Fabre Bordet for creating such a wonderful night.

This 4th edition of the event was special, as it launched a brand-new category close to my heart: 2017 Woman Role Model. Not only was I blessed to be a nominee, along other very inspiring women, I also received the special distinction award for being a Woman Role Model.

Thank you also to Merci Odile Roujol, and the rock start female executive team of the chamber who worked so hard to add this award to the event.

There are so many amazing people who helped me on this ongoing journey—some acted as role models, some played cheerleader during the tough times, some provided support, some challenged me to go beyond what I thought I could achieve, and others provided the love necessary to make it all worthwhile.

I want to start with thanking my mum Chantal Michelon, without whom I wouldn’t be here, nor would I be the woman I have become. I also want to thank my partner in life Julien Salanon, my Best Friend Cheerleaders (BFCs) Aurelia Rivier Setton, Murielle Thinard, Karina Sobieski, Virginie Maitre Infanti, Stephanie Jaffre, Aude Quancard Sun, Aurelie A Vincent, Aurelie Ferre, Olfa Zorgati, Danielle Reid,  Céline Goudy, Olivier Lauzeral, Cedric Sellin, Michal Sellin, Sandrine Clouin, Ariane Gorin, Nicole Collet – I cannot tag them all! My apologies and my appreciation to anyone I missed!

For those of you who want to watch it, here is my acceptance speech:

Our host Eve Chaurand, and French Consul general in San Francisco E. Lebrun-Damiens, reminded us how fortunate we are to live in an area where two wonderfully innovative communities come together—and how much further we can grow together. I was constantly enlightened by the new talent brought to my attention as the Chamber presented their awards. Every one of them praised the quality, cooperation and support found in San Francisco’s French community.

As many of you know, I have been traveling a lot over the last month. This evening offered a great opportunity to nurture my roots with the help of many good friends as I return home.

And finally, a little bit of laughter still comes to my lips as I think of Clara Bijl, a talented French stand-up comedian who made the night go as a breeze.

Thank you ALL! I am honored to be considered a role model!

You can find more images of the event on Facebook with web coverage at French Morning and Lost in SF.

More pictures. (Thank you to Octamedia for taking some great shots!).

Joy and News: A New GlobalEnglish This Holiday Season and Beyond

New GlobalEnglish

A New GlobalEnglish

This is the time of year that people share their joys and their news in personal newsletters. Well, my year has been pretty exciting, and I think it is time to share that news here.

In November, I joined with a group of colleagues and investors to buy the Business English portion of Pearson. Our buyout resulted in the formation, or should I say, reformation, of GlobalEnglish.

For those you who read many of my blogs, you know I believe in the importance of diversity in the boardroom and in companies in general. It is not only about gender but having people representing different backgrounds, different cultures, different markets. For this to happen, we need to have people from all horizons being able to express themselves in a group with a common language.

At GlobalEnglish we give a voice to global talent by delivering an exceptional Business English learning experience. We do this through technology and programs that empower talent to better execute, collaborate and innovate for the organizations they work for, while leading the way toward more inclusive and accessible opportunities for talent around the world.

The GlobalEnglish team has been working very long hours helping to create a new, independent company. Some of the team was here when GlobalEngilsh was acquired by Pearson. Some have a twenty-year legacy, others have just started. It is truly a blessing to work with a team of such outstanding individuals, all of whom are passionate about our leaners, aligned with our values and dedicated to helping our customers achieve their goals.

The New GlobalEnglish is my Passion

GlobalEnglish is my passion. In many ways it is far from the products I worked on at Microsoft and Oracle. GlobalEnglish One is not Oracle’s database, and it is not SharePoint. Both of those products create frameworks for other people to build solutions. By contrast, the GlobalEnglish One helps individuals start to master Business English the first time they use it. We have spent the time to learn from our customers and through that we have built a great learning experience that includes self-paced training, situational learning and personalized coaching,

I am excited for our future. As the global economy attempts to make sense of all of the changes of 2016, I firmly believe that globalization will remain a key component of success, and that more people than ever will need to learn English to thrive in their markets, to enter new markets, and to track trends and developments that will allow them to innovate.

I am very thankful to be a part of this phoenix of a company rising again to take flight on its own.

Our future very much depends not just on the obstacles we face, but how we choose to overcome those obstacles. At GlobalEnglish we promise to take the path that includes and empowers.

As a reader of my blog, that you for helping add to the energy I draw on to help build new things. The new GlobalEnglish, while very experienced, is also a very young company — I look forward to nurturing it in 2017, and sharing more of my stories with you are we go through the year.

Season’s Greeting and Happy Holidays.

Pearson English Solutions Wins Brandon Hall Group Learning Award


BrandonHall Group Logo

Pearson English Solutions Wins Brandon Hall Group Learning Award

I am very excited that Pearson English Business Solutions is being recognized for our focus on delivering outcomes that use our best of breed digital enabled learning experiences.

In April 2015, we submitted three Brandon Hall Group Learning and Development Award nominations along with our clients:  Al Tayer GroupIntesa Sanpaolo, and Tata Consultancy Services.


I’m happy to announce that every submission was a winner in their respective category:

intesa-sanpaolo-spa-logo Intesa Sanpaolo won a GOLD for “Best Use of Blended Learning
332898_1166693357 Al Tayer Group took home a BRONZE in “Best Results of a Learning Program”
TATA_cover_photo2 Tata Consultancy Services received a BRONZE for “Best Advance in Competencies and Skills Development”


You can find the complete list of winners here.


Again, congratulations to our clients, and to the Pearson English Solutions team, for delivering on our promise of excellence in learning.


My EdTech Interview on PIE News


Karine Allouche Salanon says online learning is a redundant term given we live in a “digitally-enabled” world now.

EdTech Europe has been covered from many perspectives. I was really excited when I saw my interview show up at PIE News.

My EdTech Interview on PIE News

KAS: What we do is to enable Fortune 2000 companies that are global to ensure their talent can operate, communicate and collaborate in English. So we work with them in partnership across the talent management ecosystem, from recruitment onwards. When there is a talent gap, we fix that gap with different learning modalities for the employees, through virtual classrooms, or executive coaching. The solution we recommend will depend on how fast, or what type of outcomes they’re expecting from the learning.

The PIE: And you said that the English training delivered is 90% online?

KAS: Yes, we have about 90% of our business online because that was really the core of the company. We diversified our offering adding human coaching in recent years and saw a great impact.

About two months ago, we inserted a virtual advisor to a bundle with all online services and we have enrolled 5,000 new learners in two months now with advisors. We’ve started to blend everything we do, just with different levels of touch.

Outside of the Western world, it’s really about accessibility.

Read the entire post at PIE News: Karine Allouche Salanon, CEO, Pearson English Business Solutions

EdTech Europe Coverage from PIE News

EdTech Europe Coverage from PIE News

EdTech Europe Coverage from PIE News

The number of places covering the EdTech Europe is really amazing. PIE, which covers News and business analysis for Professionals in International Education, posted What works offline doesn’t work online: edtech stakeholders, late last week.

Here are my quotes from the article

Karine Allouche Salanon, CEO of Pearson English Business Solutions, also underlined the need to prioritise the student experience.

“Human interaction is so important,” she told The PIE News, after advising MOOC providers to take an active approach to facilitating peer-to-peer engagement, rather than relying on video lectures alone.

Allouche Salanon was drawing on her own experience from curating online career development training at Pearson.

Since becoming CEO in 2013, she has taken the division from negative to double digit growth and the division saw its course completion rates soar from 11% to 76%, after it introduced a digital counsellor to help students on its online programmes.

“We only had the online, self-study learning product when I came in, and we introduced much more blended [learning] in every single thing we do,” she said.

You can read the entire post here:  What works offline doesn’t work online: edtech stakeholders.

For additional coverage in EdTech Europe, see this post: EdTech Europe Coverage – “digitalisation is not the final end game”

Businesses no longer exist in a vacuum – My Comments at Hot Topics


From my Interview with Hot Topics

I had an opportunity to talk with Hot Topics. I’m really encouraged by all of the interest in learning innovations. They also shot a nice video. Enjoy!

“I think that if you are just looking at English when you are talking about a corporation- you need to look much wider to really realize your ecosystem of competition.”

“If you see the acquisition of Lynda by LinkedIn, this is a recruitment organization getting into content, so that they can actually plug in with a learning equipment service value chain…I’m looking at the overall ecosystem and I could almost say that LinkedIn and Lynda…could be competitors, knowing that their English offering is not as strong as what we propose right now. But there could be disruption in the future.”

Read the entire post, How is English language learning within corporates being disrupted?, at Hot Topics.


EdTech Europe Coverage – “digitalisation is not the final end game”

edtech europe

Last week I spoke at EdTech Europe, and was quoted in Education Investor.

Salanon said tech could help forge tie-ups with industry, but stressed “digitalisation is not the final end game but about the value created for customers”.

“What are people learning for? They are learning to get a job, they are learning to find their next opportunity,” she said.

“Like any disruption, whoever brings us most value is going to be most successful.

Read the entire article,  Ed tech promises ‘gigantic wave of change  at Education Investor.

My session was also mentioned at Forbes: Edtech Europe 2015 Throws Up More Than Enough Questions and Answers To Pass The Test (I’m wearing the bright yellow jacket on the left of the stage in the page image below).

EdTech Forbes


More coverage continues to come in. Here is a mention at EdSurge: The 20 Edtech Startups Changing Education in Europe

New Post at TechCrunch: ‘Turnaround Management: Does Your Company Need A New Captain?’

Turnaround Management

Turnaround Management

I’m very excited that my first article as a TechCrunch contributor was posted yesterday.

Please click here to read the entire post.

From Turnaround Management: Does Your Company Need A New Captain?

When thinking of business “turnaround,” names like McDonald’s and Samsung come to mind as they struggle to navigate the changing market and waning consumer interest. Yet, a business at any stage of growth may require a turnaround, or ‘pivot’ on its core strategy. This is a concept with which many startup founders are familiar.

I am all too familiar with the turnaround concept. I left a comfortable role at Microsoft and chose to take on the challenge of becoming the CEO of a newly acquired business within a larger corporation. Within 18 months I managed to turn around its decline into double-digit growth.

During this time I had to decide which role I would take as the leader of a troubled company. I found that I had to be both a doctor and captain, and that there are five key steps that led to turnaround success for my team, our customers and myself.


The first challenge I faced was deciding whether to speak first with unhappy or happy customers. As a rule of thumb I follow an 80/20 rule, focusing my energy on the happy customers; I find it’s easier to do more of the good to turn this to greatness than focus your energy on the negative. As a leader, this is the time when you need to listen, listen, listen. To obtain the most pertinent information, I asked a few key questions: What are we doing well? What should we prioritize to fix?

I then focused my attention on the organization’s key influencers to ask them the same questions. Instead of selecting this group from company performance rankings and HR records, I spoke to the individuals who I heard had the largest influence and credibility from across the group — making sure I had representation from across marketing, sales, operations, product, support etc. I wanted to begin to build a trusted network of advisors and influencers. From this initial group I then asked them to name two further individuals they held in high regard. Here I had to analyze the various company ailments.

Then I reviewed the wider market and major trends at play that would impact future business decisions, noting any recurring themes that required more attention. For example, I found that we excelled in the level of service provided to customers — something that we would need to maintain, and also use to our advantage, through PR, awards and case studies.

Read the entire post: Turnaround Management: Does Your Company Need A New Captain? here.