Rosetta Stone (company)

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Rosetta Stone Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NYSERST
Industry Software development
Predecessors Fairfield Language Technologies
Founded Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA (1992)
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia, USA
Area served Worldwide
Key people Stephen Swad (CEO)
Greg Keim (CTO)
Products Rosetta Stone
Revenue Increase $252.3 million (2009)
Operating income Decrease $20.5 million (2009)
Net income Decrease $20.4 million (2009)
Total assets Decrease $225.4 million (2009)
Total equity Increase $156.4 million (2009)
Owners ABS Capital Partners
Northwest Equity Partners
Employees 1,738 (2009)
Subsidiaries Rosetta Stone (UK) Limited
Rosetta Stone Japan Inc.

Rosetta Stone Inc. is a U.S. software company that develops technology-driven language, literacy and brain-fitness solutions that are used by millions of individuals and thousands of schools, businesses, government organizations around the world. Best known for its Rosetta Stone Language-Learning products, in 2013 the company expanded beyond language and deeper into education-technology with its acquisitions of Livemocha, Lexia Learning, Fit Brains and Tell Me More.[1]


According to the company, founder Allen Stoltzfus learned German through immersion while living in Germany, and found it relatively easy. In the 1980s, Stoltzfus began learning Russian in a classroom setting, but found the classroom setting much more difficult. He wanted to simulate the German experience, and he decided to use computer technology to create a similar learning experience. He enlisted the aid of his brother-in-law, Dr. John Fairfield, who held a PhD in computer science.

By 1992, CD-ROM technology made the project possible. They formed a company known as Fairfield Language Technologies in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Allen and John hired Eugene Stoltzfus (Allen's brother), Greg Keim and Michael Silverman. They released their software product under the title The Rosetta Stone. In 2003, the company announced the hiring of Tom Adams, a businessman with international experience, as President and CEO.

In 2006, the company changed names to Rosetta Stone, Ltd., and converted from an S corporation to a C corporation. Ownership transferred to investment firms ABS Capital Partners and Northwest Equity Partners. On 23 September 2008, Rosetta Stone Inc. filed an Initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Since the 15th April 2009, the company is listed as the Rosetta Stone at the New York Stock Exchange. Since 2012, the company's president and CEO is Stephen Swad.[2] The company's headquarters are situated across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. in Arlington, VA, and it also has offices in Harrisonburg, Virginia and Boulder, Colorado, Austin, Texas, San Francisco, California, London, United Kingdom, Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea.

On September 17, 2013, Rosetta Stone announced the launch of a new Kids Division.

Corporate affairs[edit]

Corporate structure[edit]

A Rosetta Stone booth at the Westfield San Francisco Centre

Rosetta Stone, Ltd., formerly Fairfield & Sons, Ltd. d.b.a. Fairfield Language Technologies, has two subsidiary companies:

  • Rosetta Stone (UK) Limited is based in London in the United Kingdom and handles the sales within EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
  • Rosetta Stone Japan Inc., formerly Rosetta World, is based in Tokyo, Japan, and handles sales in the Asian markets.


On April 15, 2009 Rosetta Stone raised $112 million in its Initial Public Offering of stock, with shares valued at $18.00.[3] In its first full day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the stock performed strongly, closing at $25.12 per share, up 39% from its opening price.[4] After a strong opening, however, the stock stumbled amid reports of weaknesses in Rosetta Stone's US business, resulting in the cancellation of a second offering, and a disappointing year end price just 5 cents off its opening price.[5] The stock trades under ticker symbol RST.[3][4]


Endangered language communities[edit]

In 2004, Rosetta Stone Ltd. established its Endangered Language Program to contract with endangered language communities interested in custom software development to support language revitalization efforts.[6]

Support for the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act[edit]

Rosetta Stone was among a group of companies signed to a letter supporting Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), a bill which opponents argue amounts to censorship.[7]


  • 2012 Stevie Silver Award for the Best Use of Technology in Customer Service
  • 2012 Stevie Silver Award for the Young Customer Service Professional of the Year
  • 2012 Stevie Bronze Award for Customer Service Department of the Year
  • 2012 Stevie People’s Choice for Favorite Customer Service [8]
  • 2010 Eloqua Markies Award in the Marketing and Sales BFF finalist[9]
  • 2010 Future 50 Winner[10]
  • 2009 Technology CFO of the Year[11]
  • 2009 CEO Tom Adams Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • 2009 CEO, Tom Adams named Ernst & Young 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year – Retail & Consumer Products[12]
  • 2009 MT2 Top Training and Simulation Companies[13]
  • 2009 Shenandoah Valley Technology Council's High Tech Company Award[14]
  • 2009 Stevie Executive of the Year Award[15]
  • 2008-2011, Deloitte's Technology Fast Award[16][17][18]


External links[edit]