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Udemy Board Member Resigns Due to Antitrust Concerns by Justice Department

Udemy and Skillsoft had a board member in common, drawing the attention of the US Justice Department.

Last week, the US Justice Department announced that directors from five companies had resigned from corporate board positions in response to concerns from its Antitrust Division. One of the companies named is Udemy.

“Skillsoft and Udemy are providers of online corporate education services. One director served simultaneously on the boards of both companies, as did the investment firm Prosus, through that director, because he represented Prosus on both boards at the same time. The director resigned from Udemy’s board in response to the Division’s concerns about the alleged interlock.” 

Prosus Edtech Companies

Prosus is a global investment group majority-owned by South African multinational Naspers. Since 2021, they own Stack Overflow. And back in 2016, Prosus invested $60 million in Udemy.

After further research, I found that the director in question was Lawrence Illg, who resigned from the Udemy Board on September 23, 2022. Illg is Chief Executive Officer, Food and Edtech, at Prosus. And he remains Board Director at Skillsoft, only having renounced his Udemy Board position.

Larry’s bio on Skillsoft


“Skillsoft (NYSE: SKIL) is a global leader in corporate digital learning, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy.” 

I’m not too familiar with Skillsoft, so I read through their 2022 annual report (the so-called “10-K”). I learned that at the end of January 2022, the company had 2,943 regular employees. And I learned that the company had filed for bankruptcy (Chapter 11) to reduce its debt from $2 billion to $410 million.

According to the report, they operated in three segments:

  • Content, a set of online-learning platforms and software, including Percipio.
  • Global Knowledge, a standalone platform for IT training and certifications.
  • SumTotal, a software solution for staff management, which they’ve sold to Cornerstone.

Skillsoft have a library of “200,000+ content assets, which include videos, digital books, book summaries, audiobooks, labs, job aids, and other learning resources is segmented into the following three customer markets: (i) Leadership and Business, (ii) Technology and Developer, and (iii) Compliance.”

Skillsoft stock price over the past year (Source)

At the end of 2021, Skillsoft announced that they would acquire Codecademy for $525 million in cash and stock. The deal was completed in April 2022. According to the 10-K, Skillsoft ended up paying $390.3 million, consisting of stocks and $207.6 million in cash. Skillsoft is currently valued around $280 million and is down ~80% since the Codecademy acquisition was announced.


Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

Comments 1

  1. Ellie Kesselman

    Hello, Dhawal Shah.
    I enjoyed your articles on the MOOC hype cycle, very much!

    Here is some interesting news for you, straight from the Harvard Crimson, about edX. It was published yesterday, 27 October 2022. It is titled “An EdTech Company Bought edX from Harvard and MIT for $800 Million. Its Stock Price Has Plummeted Since” https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2022/10/27/2u-financial-struggles/
    The instructor of MITx course Circuits and Electronics is featured prominently.


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