Rohit Agarwal, general manager for Amazon’s K-12 Education unit, has left the Seattle-based tech giant.
During his time at Amazon, Agarwal oversaw efforts by the company to expand its presence in education technology and digital learning, including a content sharing service for educators called Amazon Inspire and a chat-style, subscription-based reading app for kids called Amazon Rapids.
Agarwal, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, announced his departure in a post on LinkedIn on Friday: “After 3+ years at Amazon and almost 9 since founding TenMarks, it’s time to build something new. Looking forward to taking some time off and researching ideas for a new venture.”
An Amazon representative said in a statement to GeekWire, “We can confirm that after 3 years at Amazon, Rohit has left to pursue other opportunities. We appreciate his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors. Amazon remains committed to K-12 education and innovating on behalf of students and teachers.”
The company didn’t provide any word on a replacement. Agarwal couldn’t be reached before publication this weekend.
Amazon’s agreement to acquire TenMarks in late 2013 was part of a surge in activity by the company in education and online learning, as documented at the time by longtime education technology analyst Frank Catalano. The broader Amazon Education initiatives also include the Whispercast digital distribution technology and Kindle e-readers in the classroom.
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The rollout of the Amazon Inspire content sharing platform for teachers last June was described by the New York Times as Amazon’s “major foray into the education technology market for primary and secondary schools, a territory that Apple, Google and Microsoft have heavily staked out.”
“Our ultimate goal is for every teacher in every single subject to benefit from Amazon Inspire,” said Agarwal in an interview with GeekWire at the time. “When they walk into a classroom, we want every teacher to benefit from the collective knowledge, the collective insights and the experience of every single one of their peers.”
Shortly after the unveiling, the New York Times reported that three items on the site, including two promoted in images provided to media, were copyrighted materials. Amazon removed the items. Agarwal told the newspaper at the time that the company was looking into the situation and would “do what is appropriate to respond to the results of the investigation.” Amazon Inspire remains online as a beta to which educators can request access.