Instructure, the maker of Canvas, today announced that Shiren Vijiasingam has been named the company’s new chief product officer, effective June 20th. Vijiasingam will play a pivotal role in building the Instructure Learning Platform and driving growth through product adoption. As the company delivers on its core mission of elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together, his vision and focus on innovation in education technology will be instrumental.
Shiren steps into a role that Mitch Benson filled for close to eight years and will continue to make great impacts as our Chief Strategy Officer overseeing global strategy for both Higher Ed and K-12. Mitch led the product function during a critical period of growth and now leads a new team focused on delivering a unified vision to support Instructure’s major growth initiatives including corporate development, M&A, and partnerships alongside the work Vijiasingam will be doing on product.
Vijiasingam joins Instructure with over two decades of product experience and more than ten years in education technology. He previously served as Chief Product Officer, both at Newsela, a K-12 content platform and General Assembly, the pioneer of career transformation education.
“Shiren’s customer-centric approach to product development will ensure that we drive innovation in Canvas and Instructure’s other core products as we enhance our broader solution strategy,” said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. “His data-driven approach to product development and track record of discovering winning solutions will accelerate our strategy as we enter a stage of hyper growth.”
At Newsela, Vijiasingam led the launch of 3 new product lines driving double-digit revenue growth. As the pandemic impacted educational institutions, he was the architect of the product-led growth strategy that culminated in the signing of the largest districts in the company’s history. Additionally, he drove M&A strategy and oversaw the release of new content forms including interactive videos and ready-to-teach lessons. Under Vijiasingam’s leadership, the company saw peak weekly usage growth every year, even in post-pandemic years.
While leading the product function at General Assembly, Vijiasingam and his team built a digital product experience that improved user engagement, drove exponential revenue growth, and increased renewals, which contributed to the company’s sale to staffing firm Adecco in 2018. He also helped lead General Assembly’s software-led shift from a solely consumer-focused retail business to enterprise SaaS products and services.
“I’m excited to join Instructure and their talented, mission-driven team, to pursue their goal to empower educators and reach learners with highly-engaging experiences,” said Vijiasingam. “The company is perfectly positioned to further disrupt the industry through the addition of transformational new products to its powerful Instructure Learning Platform.”