Rosetta Stone (company)

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Rosetta Stone Inc.
Traded as NYSERST
Industry Software development
Predecessor Fairfield Language Technologies
Founded Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA (1992)
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia, USA
Area served
Key people
Stephen Swad (CEO)
Tom Pierno (CFO)
Products Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone
Revenue Decrease $264.6 million (2013)
Decrease ($18.4) million (2013)
Decrease ($16.1) million (2013)
Total assets Increase $290.8 million (2013)
Total equity Decrease $131.2 million (2013)
Owner ABS Capital Partners
Northwest Equity Partners
Number of employees
1,375 (2014)

Rosetta Stone Inc. is a global education technology software company that develops language, literacy and brain-fitness software 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 solutions 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 September 23, 2008, Rosetta Stone Inc. filed an Initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Since April 15, 2009, the company has been listed as the Rosetta Stone at the New York Stock Exchange. Since 2012, the company's president and CEO has been Stephen Swad.[2] Rosetta Stone is transitioning to a cloud-based business model that goes beyond language learning and deeper into education technology. Since Mr. Swad became CEO, the company has expanded to Brazil and the Middle East. In 2013, it acquired four companies—Vivity Labs Inc (creators of the Fit Brains Trainer),[3] Livemocha,[4] Tell Me More,[5] and Lexia Learning.[6]

The company's headquarters are in Arlington, VA, and it has offices worldwide.

On September 17, 2013, Rosetta Stone announced the launch of a new Kids Division [7] and in November, 2014 it debuted its first kids reading program for consumers, Rosetta Stone Kids Reading.[8]


On April 15, 2009 Rosetta Stone raised $112 million in its Initial Public Offering of stock, with shares valued at $18.00.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] The stock trades under ticker symbol RST.[9][10]


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.[12]

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.[13]


  • 2014 Tabby Award - Overall Winner and Users' Choice honoree in the Android - Education Category: Rosetta Course®[14]
  • 2014 Tabby Award - Users' Choice honoree in the iPad - Education / Adults, Professionals and General Category: Rosetta Course®[14]
  • 2014 Tabby Award - Overall Winner and Users' Choice honoree in the iPad - Health & Fitness Category: Fit Brains Trainer(TM)[14]
  • 2014 Academics' Choice Smart Media Awards for Rosetta Course® for iOS[15]
  • 2014 Academics' Choice Smart Media Awards for Rosetta Stone® Kids Lingo Letter Sounds(TM)[16]
  • 2014 Academics' Choice Smart Media Awards for Fit Brains(TM) Trainer[17]
  • 2014 Academics' Choice Smart Media Awards for Fit Brains Sparky's Adventures(TM)[18]
  • 2014 Academics' Choice Smart Media Awards for Lexia Reading® Core5®[19]
  • 2014 Best of Elearning! Award of Excellence for Rosetta Stone TOTALe® PRO for Business solution[20]
  • 2014 iKids Awards for Rosetta Stone® Kids Lingo Letter Sounds(TM)[21]
  • 2014/2015 eSchool News Reader's Choice Award for Lexia Reading® Core5®pre-K-5 reading program[22]
  • 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 [23]
  • 2010 Eloqua Markies Award in the Marketing and Sales BFF finalist[24]
  • 2010 Future 50 Winner[25]
  • 2009 Technology CFO of the Year[26]
  • 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[27]
  • 2009 MT2 Top Training and Simulation Companies[28]
  • 2009 Shenandoah Valley Technology Council's High Tech Company Award[29]
  • 2009 Stevie Executive of the Year Award[30]
  • 2008-2011, Deloitte's Technology Fast Award[31][32][33]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Rosetta Stone to Acquire Fit Brains Creator Vivity Labs, Will Enter Fast-Growing Brain-Training Market". MarketWatch. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Karsten Strauss. "Rosetta Stone Acquires Livemocha And Expands Its Reach In The Cloud". Forbes. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Rosetta Stone Acquires Another Language Learning Company". EdSurge. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "Rosetta Stone Acquires Lexia Learning for $22.5 Million". Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Rosetta Stone Launches Kids Division, Introduces Blended Reading & Language Product for Children 3-6" (press release). Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b CNBC Article Covering the IPO, retrieved 4/17/09
  10. ^ a b Stock Coverage of Rosetta Stone at Wikinvest
  11. ^ "IPO comeback in 2009 sets stage for busy 2010". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  12. ^ Associated Press. "New software to aid in keeping Navajo language alive." Jan 06, 2008. (accessed July 06, 2008).
  13. ^ Sandoval, Greg (January 18, 2011). "Senator who opposes antipiracy bill under pressure?". CNET News (San Francisco, California). Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c "2014 winners, users' choice and finalists". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Academics' Choice Award Winner". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Academics' Choice Award Winner". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Academics' Choice Award Winner". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Academics' Choice Award Winner". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "Academics' Choice Award Winner". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "Rosetta Stone Business Solution Wins Coveted Elearning! Award". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Rosetta Stone Kids Smartphone App Wins Heralded iKids Award". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Lexia Reading Core5 Presented with 2014-2015 eSchool News Readers' Choice Award". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "2012 Stevie® Award Winners". Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  24. ^ "Marketing and Sales BFF". Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "Washington SmartCEO Announces 2010 Fast Growth Companies". Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "CFO of the Year Awards". Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  27. ^ "Rosetta Stone Inc.’s Tom Adams named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2009 overall national winner". Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  28. ^ "2009 Top Simulation & Training Companies" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  29. ^ "Rosetta Stone Wins Multiple Awards for Innovation and Excellence". Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  30. ^ "Rosetta Stone CEO Named Executive of the Year". Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  31. ^ "Deloitte's 2011 Technology Fast 50" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  32. ^ "Deloitte's 2010 Technology Fast 500" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  33. ^ "2009 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 - Winners Booklet" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2012. 

External links[edit]