The company behind popular “brain game” app Lumosity has a new CEO, and he’s no dummy. Although Steve Berkowitz, the incoming leader of Lumos Labs, is best known for overseeing the growth of the For Dummies book series in the 1990s, he’s also experienced in scaling tech companies and steering them toward large exits. Berkowitz will replace Kunal Sarkar, the company’s co-founder and current CEO, who will become Lumos Labs’ new chairman of the board.
Berkowitz was one of the major players in the expansion of the For Dummies brand at IDG Books, and subsequently went on to helm Ask Jeeves/Ask.com, Move, and Realtor.com. Move and Realtor.com were both later sold to News Corp, and Berkowitz played a large part in IAC’s acquisition of Ask.com in 2005 for a still-staggering $1.85 billion.
In an interview with Fast Company, Berkowitz said his immediate focus will be new products and international opportunities. Currently, the company claims to have more than 70 million members in 180 countries. He added that Lumosity is a “brand that’s built in a new and nascent space which they’re helping to define, and we’ll be focusing on idea of entertaining and education as things that are important.”
Even though a group of 69 researchers from prestigious universities has said that brain games’ claims are exaggerated, the market for cognitive training is booming. Research from MarketsandMarkets predicts the cognitive assessment and training market to grow from $2.4 billion in 2015 to $7.5 billion by 2020.NU