Earle Pratt

Former CEO of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers and Head of Higher Education Investing for Sylvan Ventures

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Earle Pratt is a seasoned CEO who helps companies drive growth quickly through superior management and execution, franchise network creation/expansion, international new market entry, acquisition-led growth, and growth capital fundraising. He has led companies in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America in the Education and EdTech, Franchising, and Financial Services markets.

Earle has specific expertise in turnarounds, multi-site operations, online and blended learning, B2B and B2C sales, enterprise-level software development (specifically Learning Management and CRM systems), debt and equity fundraising, M&A (both buy-side and sell-side), and company share buybacks, ESOPs, and executive compensation. Earle also has deep experience with management, operations, fundraising, and board governance of cultural, educational, and community 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations.

Earle has led multiple private equity-backed businesses (investors include The Carlyle Group and Camden Partners). He also has deep expertise in international operations acting as a managing director of companies in the U.K., Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Argentina and leading companies with franchisees located in over 50 countries.

Business Highlights: 

  • CEO of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, the world’s largest independent IT training company and Microsoft’s largest training partner with over 300 locations in over 50 countries.
  • Completed turnaround of an international education company in two years and sold the company to The Carlyle Group for a price over $20 million higher than the pre-turnaround valuation.
  • As CEO, completed a turnaround of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers in 3 years and led a “Take-Private” transaction to take the company from a delisted public company to a privately held company at a valuation of more than 3x the pre-turnaround stock price.
  • CFO of $75 million revenue multinational company. Managed FX, multi-country debt fundraising, intercompany loans and cash management, and local financial, auditing, legal, and regulatory requirements.
  • Served as COO at Wall Street English, one of the world’s largest English language instructional companies with operations in 28 countries of over 100,000 students per year.
  • Partner in charge of Higher Education Investing for Sylvan Ventures, a $440 million Venture Capital fund founded by Sylvan Learning and backed by Apollo Global Management LLC.
  • Raised over $65 million in debt for a variety of companies to support growth and acquisitions.
  • Repurchased over $30 million of franchisee multi-site operations and grew those sales to $50 million in two years.
  • Led the acquisition of National Technological University, an engineering graduate school, and managed the process of taking the university from not-for-profit to for-profit status while retaining full accreditations and Title IV status.
  • Developed and launched two different customized Learning Management Systems managing the entire software development process; systems were used by over 250,000 students per year.
  • As Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, raised $5 million to build a new 266-seat Shakespeare Theatre in downtown Baltimore, helping revitalize a marginalized neighborhood.

In addition, Earle worked as a management consultant in the Financial Institutions Group in the Moscow and London offices of Kearney with clients in Europe and the Middle East. During this time Earle designed the first automotive credit program in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and created a “Country Strategy” for the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain. In the U.S., Earle worked for Sylvan Learning/Laureate Education, leading deal teams acquiring Laureate’s initial network of on-campus and online U.S. and international universities in Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland. He is also a former Member of the Board of Linguaphone & Direct English Ltd. a leading English language instructional company based in London, U.K.

Earle received his MBA from the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management and is a member of the YPO Baltimore/Washington and Barcelona, Spain Chapters. He lived in Russia, Ukraine, the U.K., and Spain for over 12 years. Earle speaks native English, fluent Spanish, conversational Russian, and basic Catalan. Earle holds both U.S. and Irish citizenship.

Earle lives in Baltimore with his wife and three children. He is a Board Member and former Chairman of the Board of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company – one of Baltimore’s three leading theater companies. He also serves as Treasurer of the Board of the Waldorf School of Baltimore. He enjoys seeing live music, rowing (crew), and playing golf and tennis with his kids.

Featured Podcast:

Listen to Earle Pratt’s podcast episode – A Five-Step Plan to Prepare Your Business for a BIG Sale