Activision exec joins AltSchool’s founding team to transform school experience for parents, students and teachers
SAN FRANCISCO – Apr 21, 2016 – AltSchool today announced that Coddy Johnson has joined the founding team as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Coddy is highly-respected for his transformative leadership style and deep experience implementing personalized technologies at scale. Most recently, he held numerous executive positions at Activision Publishing, including COO of Studios, CFO, and Head of Operations, where he led its strategy and operations to create engaging experiences for communities of tens of millions. As AltSchool’s COO, Coddy will initially focus on driving operational consistency, as well as building connected and supportive communities throughout its growing network of micro-schools.
“Coddy has the vision to see how technology can fundamentally transform individual experiences at scale,” said Max Ventilla, AltSchool’s founder and CEO. “Yet he understands that growth is not the goal, but rather a byproduct of inspiring and engaging students and families. Equally important, as a parent of young children, he’s driven to create something that benefits not only his own children but, in time, many many more children. The AltSchool community is incredibly lucky to have him.”
The news comes a month after AltSchool shared expansion plans within its own network of schools and through a new partner program, AltSchool Open. At SXSWedu, founder Max Ventilla invited educators and administrators nationwide to open schools supported by the AltSchool platform. The company also announced a third New York City school planned in Union Square, a sixth Bay Area school in San Francisco and its first Chicago school located in Lincoln Park, bringing the total to ten schools.
“AltSchool has been fortunate to experience rapid, organic growth in its first couple of years, and as we enter this next phase, we want to ensure we’re implementing the best possible processes, approaches and solutions,” Coddy Johnson said. “What most excites me about joining AltSchool is the belief shared by the central team, our teachers, and our families that all children deserve access to a high-quality education and the shared commitment to making that possible.”
Coddy joined Activision in 2008, a critical moment after the company recently acquired Blizzard and consequently doubled in size. In his roles, Coddy oversaw multiple areas: from planning, finance and operations, to helping ensure the company grew profitably, to creating consistent and high-quality experiences, to enabling strong and engaged communities. During his tenure, Activision grew to over 100 million members and expanded its portfolio of titles to include a number of vibrant franchises.
“Coddy is one of those rare executives who brings together strong strategic leadership and operational excellence with a real focus on the human side of business,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision. “He has also been a big part of bringing great software to millions of people on a global scale. I’m excited to see him apply those skills to an innovative new approach to education.”
Prior to Activision, Coddy spent years in politics as White House Associate Director of Political Affairs under President George W. Bush. In addition, he held regional and national field director roles in the President's election campaigns. He's credited with helping to pioneer the use of technology and analytics to better understand the needs of individual voters and to better serve and connect with communities nationwide. As a result, he was named MVP of the 2004 Election by the National Association of Political Consultants.
“Coddy combines passion for the public good with operational excellence and an inclusive leadership style," added Ken Mehlman, 62nd RNC Chairman, Campaign Manager for President Bush’s 2004 campaign and White House Political Director. "He left politics because he believes the greatest transformational force is not government policy, but private sector innovation—and he wanted to be part of it. This move to AltSchool is the perfect intersection, where his deep understanding of how businesses operate and how technology can enable will benefit a cause he’s passionate about.”
Coddy has spent a decade working to address and support important issues like poverty, at-risk youth, and the environment. He is Chairman of the anti-poverty group LIFT-LA, which supports children who “age out” of the foster care system. He's on the Board of the Environmental Defense Action Fund, which promotes conservation and works to increase understanding about climate change. At Activision, he co-founded an endowment that helps military vets find jobs. As the father of two children and a soon-to-be AltSchool parent, he is passionate about supporting education. He’s also currently on the Board of Twigtale, a company that produces personalized books for children struggling with transitions in their personal lives.
About AltSchoolAltSchool is reimagining K-8 education from the ground up with its mission to enable all children to reach their full potential. AltSchool’s world-class team of educators, operators, and technologists is building a network of micro-schools that offer personalized, child-centered learning experiences. Founded in 2013 by technology entrepreneur and parent Max Ventilla, and headquartered in San Francisco, AltSchool is backed by Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Emerson Collective, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal, John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital, Omidyar Network, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's donor advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and other leading investors. AltSchool currently operates schools in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Brooklyn, with schools on the way in Manhattan and Chicago. More information at www.altschool.com.