On Wednesday, News Corp announced that it is selling Amplify, the company’s educational tablet unit, to outside investors. Nearly 40% of the company’s workforce–500 employees, to be exact–were reportedly laid off as well.
Financial details of the sale were not announced; Amplify CEO Joel Klein, an ex-New York City school system chancellor, will step down as well. He will remain on the company’s board, and Amplify executive Larry Berger is taking over as CEO. In the obligatory corporate statement, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said, “We are extremely proud of the crucial work that the Amplify team has done to create a digital platform for the future.”
Amplify has faced competition from other edtech ventures in its quest to sell kid-friendly tablets. Named one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies in education back in 2013, Amplify has been in an ongoing war with rivals like LeapFrog and Fuhu to position its tablets in a way that appeals to parents and school boards. The profusion of companies offering kid-friendly tablets, coupled with the popularity of standard iPads and Android tablets, has made it difficult for edtech brands to keep their hold on the market. iPads, in particular, have increasingly found their way into classrooms, to varying degrees of success.