Derrick Ware Named Chief Product & Technology Officer

Derrick Ware Named Chief Product & Technology Officer at Newsela

September 15, 2022

New York, NY - Today, Newsela announced Derrick Ware as its new Chief Product & Technology Officer. Derrick most recently served as Chief Technology Officer for the company. In his expanded role, he will be responsible for overseeing the ideation, development, and execution of all Newsela products, the Newsela platform, and company digital innovation initiatives. 

“Derrick brings more than 20 years of experience leading both product and engineering teams at high-growth technology companies,” said Matthew Gross, founder and CEO of Newsela.  “He has an impressive history of tackling large-scale technology challenges, driving positive results, and empowering his teams to create the best solutions for our teachers, students, and administrators. With Derrick’s expanded responsibilities, he’ll have even more opportunity to  grow our impact on K-12 classrooms and fulfill our product vision.”

Up until now, Derrick had been responsible for leading and growing Newsela’s team of Software Engineering, IT, InfoSec, Data and Project Management professionals. He is an accomplished technology leader who has solved tech problems at a variety of large SaaS and B2B tech companies, including Fidelity Investments, PeopleFluent, and Brightly. Derrick began his career as an F-15E “Strike Eagle” crew chief in the United States Air Force and subsequently spent several years working on hardware and software solutions at IBM. He also helped launch Futures, Inc., a human capital management startup built for veterans, largely in response to the high depression and suicide rates of former vets who had a difficult time shifting from military life to the workforce.

“I’m thrilled to be expanding my role at Newsela where our mission to create meaningful classroom learning for every student is embedded in our product from ideation to implementation,” said Derrick Ware, Chief Product & Technology Officer at Newsela. “The unification of our product and technology team is an exciting opportunity to continue to provide a first-class experience for users while driving innovation and progress. I’m ready to hit the ground running.” 

Derrick’s new role on Newsela’s executive leadership team is effective immediately — an executive team that has greatly expanded with the recent additions of Holly Cafiero, Chief People Officer, Igor Beckerman, Chief Financial Officer, and Gloria Lee, General Counsel.

Holly Cafiero, Chief People Officer
- Holly has over 25 years of experience in start-up and globally established businesses, both publicly and privately held, across a variety of industries including SaaS, advertising, technology consulting, life sciences, and financial services. Prior to Newsela, she served as Chief Human Resources Officer at Druva. Holly has deep expertise in organizational development, engagement, cultural transformation, and talent management from her years in leadership roles at Vistaprint, Hologic, and Cloud Technology Partners (CTP).  

Igor Beckerman, Chief Financial Officer -  With twenty-five years of tech industry experience, Igor combines strong finance expertise, a strategic and business mindset, and strong experience in scaling software businesses. Prior to Newsela, Igor was CFO at Gainsight, where he helped to grow the company 5x and assisted in coordinating the sale of the company to Vista Equity Partners. Previously, he held leadership roles at Marketo and Precise Software and began his career in investment banking.  

Gloria Lee, General Counsel - Gloria has nearly twenty-five years of legal experience working for leading companies in the technology and healthcare sectors, government, and private practice. Prior to joining Newsela, Gloria held leadership positions at Google, Fitbit, and McKesson, with a significant track record of advising on complex and novel legal matters. Earlier in her career, Gloria was a trial lawyer with the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, an attorney with the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, and a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Pallmeyer of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois.