Industrious hires new COO to lead IPO prep, international expansion

Liz Simon, former COO at General Assembly, arrives as flex-office provider plans to “invest heavily” in Europe, Asia

Industrious hires new COO to lead IPO prep, international expansion
Industrious’ new COO Liz Simon. (Industrious)

Industrious has a new chief operating officer.

The flex-office provider has tapped Liz Simon, chief operating officer at tech-focused continuing education school General Assembly, as its new COO, The Real Deal has learned.

Tasked with overseeing Industrious’ legal department, cross-functional operations and “people function,” according to the company, Simon fills a vacancy left by Michael Robson, who moved to KKR Capstone in October.

As COO, Simon will also oversee the New York-based startup’s preparation for its eventual initial public offering, said to be planned for later this year or early next year.

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Additionally, Industrious says Simon will oversee the startup’s international growth. Until now, the firm’s international operation has been limited to several locations in the United Kingdom, and a new outpost set to open in Singapore.

Industrious, which was founded in 2012 by CEO Jamie Hodari and president Justin Stewart, has been focused on growing its domestic footprint — which now includes more than 50 U.S. markets — before going abroad. Now, it believes the time is ripe, and Industrious plans to “invest heavily behind growth in Europe and Asia” in the next few years under Simon’s direction, according to a spokesperson.

Industrious credited Simon with helping shape the legal and policy environment for “alternative learning providers” in her eight years at General Assembly, as well as navigating the company’s 2018 sale to the Swiss human resources conglomerate Adecco Group for $413 million.

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