Katherine Ray
Chief Marketing Officer



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Katherine joined Babbel in 2019 as Chief Marketing Officer. Babbel is the market-leading app for language learning.

Previously, she was a Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President at Shiseido and before that a Co-Founder at Globe Ally. Earlier in her career she worked with Hanna Andersson as a Vice President International.

She graduated from Brown University with an undergraduate degree in History.



  1. Katherine sees people. She understands, that she needs to put the team first in order to achieve the best possible results. She is a highly successful marketing expert with 25+ years of working for international brands. Before Babbel, Katherine was CMO at cosmetics company Shiseido in Tokyo, growing its business by double digits year-on-year. She held further senior executive roles at Nike, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger and Hyatt Hotels in the US, Japan and France. Fluent in Japanese and French she is fascinated by languages and excited about Babbel’s potential to connect people. Katherine is passionate about diversity and firmly believes that fostering empathy and inclusivity can allow ideas to pollinate across cultures and industries. Katherine is a contributing spokesperson in the media on global marketing, cross-cultural communications, the importance of diversity, and on unifying teams under a clear vision with shared values. She has lectured at Stanford, Wharton, Brown and Portland State. She has helped build organizations that promote global literacy, youth empowerment and female leadership, as an active member of the International Women’s Forum, a founding Board Member of Full Esteem Ahead and Room to Read Chapters in Tokyo and Portland, Oregon.

    Mid Level Professional, submitted on

  2. Katherine’s strength lies in her ability to remind the team of the bigger picture. When the COVID crisis hit, she moved quickly to ensure that the teams were safe and felt reassured. But she also looked beyond the day-to-day running of the business to see how Babbel could put its purpose into action and contribute to the crisis in a positive way. This lead to the Babbel Free for Students campaign, which saw more than 130 thousand students impacted by school closures receive free Babbel vouchers. Katherine has an excellent ability to sense when the team is feeling stifled by reporting, or meeting metrics, and will intervene by bringing their attention to stories about how our product has changed lives and made the world that little bit better. At a recent Marketing team check-in, we heard from a team member whose entire life changed course when he learned Spanish and subsequently met the love of his life on a trip to the Sahara desert. Marketing is about stories, and Katherine never loses sight of their power, and of how our product empowers people to tell them.

    Senior Level Professional, submitted on

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