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Former Uber Exec Returns To New Zealand To Lead Expansion Of First Registered Online High School

Pictured left to right: AJ Tills - CMO of Crimson Global Academy. Jamie Beaton - Founder of CGA and CEO of Crimson Education.

Former Uber executive, AJ Tills, has returned to New Zealand as the first appointed Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Crimson Global Academy - the first registered online high school in New Zealand. This comes amidst a broader trend of surging migration back to New Zealand.

Tills, who joined Uber six years ago, led the ride-sharer’s expansion across New Zealand and Australia before working in New York City as the global marketing leader for JUMP - Uber’s micro mobility offering.

On his appointment and return to New Zealand from the US, Tills said his home country has the potential to become a leading tech hub.

“CGA is powered by Crimson Education - one of 11 New Zealand tech companies founded in the past 10 years that has reached a valuation of over $100M,” Mr Tills said.

Founder of CGA and CEO of Crimson Education, Jamie Beaton, says the online school is attracting top talent like Tills, because of the potential to impact and scale the new model of education across the globe.

“We are building on years of student achievement from Crimson’s unrivalled track record, to bring a new school experience to young Kiwis who thrive from a personalised approach.

“Kiwis are choosing to join tech companies that are resources-rich, have a ‘think differently’ attitude to solving problems with a novel solution. They want to be part of a high performing sports team culture that has grit at its core. With well-established headquarters here, the team can launch offerings in a market with early adopter habits before scaling unique offerings, globally,” Mr Beaton said.

On the back of Uber’s success, Tills sees an opportunity to channel a similar agile approach, offering Kiwi families a solution to a tired model ... in this case, through a completely online high school experience.

“Crimson Global Academy is about acceleration. Students learn in different ways and at their own pace ... whether it be to advance their learning as a high achiever or to reinforce their understanding from what is being taught in the classroom, students can now consolidate their understanding and take their learning beyond the boundaries of a group class, thanks to the one-on-one attention CGA teachers provide.

“We’re providing a really personalised and responsive learning environment,” he said. Tills’ decision to return to New Zealand echoes a trend which over the past four years has shown an increase in New Zealanders returning home, along with other migrants. New Zealand’s net migration rate was 11.4 per 1,000 people in the year ended June 2019, reflecting annual net migration of about 56,000 for a population of about 4.9 million. This rate is more than triple recent migration rates in the United States and United Kingdom.

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