Gale’s SVP Paul Gazzolo Wants to Unlock the Publisher’s Information Vault
Paul Gazzolo had a sizeable task in front of him as soon as he took the job as senior vice president and global general manager of Michigan-based Gale in November 2014. His mandate: to turn Gale, a 60-year-old education, research, and reference publisher supporting libraries, schools, and academic institutions, into a global, patron-centered company.
Although Gale is already a technology leader with massive digital archives, periodical databases, online research and learning tools, and a comprehensive ebook platform, Gazzolo aims to make these services even more accessible to users. "I think Gale has tremendous opportunity to distinguish itself from others in the space by making sure that reference information isn't just locked in a vault or buried inside of a catalog," says Gazzolo, "but rather is really pushed out to the user leveraging technology to enrich the whole learning experience."
Gazzolo also sees opportunity for global expansion. "We've become kind of Anglo-centric in our orientation, despite the fact that our research is available all over the world." Expanding globally doesn't simply mean selling Gale services to institutions outside of the U.S., says Gazzolo. It also means covering the subject matter and providing the services needed most by its global users.
Lending scale and support to Gale's global and solution-driven efforts is parent company Cengage Learning. Gale operates as a company within a company, running its own P&L, product organization, and sales, while Cengage provides the technology and consumer support Gale needs to grow. "I was really drawn to Cengage because it takes a different approach to the education business," says Gazzolo. "They have really invested in first-rate technology to develop specific solutions for the student, the instructor, and the researcher."
Gazzolo comes to Gale from Wolters Kluwer CCH, where he was VP of research and learning, and prior to that, president of the World Book Encyclopedia. In the latter role, Gazzolo transformed the well-known World Book brand into an online service built on a suite of databases. The project, says Gazzolo, gave him insights into creating product solutions for the K-12 market and he hopes to bring that service orientation to bear at Gale.
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Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.