Former Yahoo exec Dan Rosensweig joins


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Dan Rosensweig is leaving his post as CEO and president of Activision Blizzard’s Guitar Hero franchise to take over as CEO of online textbook-rental company

The former Yahoo chief operating officer and Quadrangle Group partner, who is well known and well liked in Silicon Valley, joined Guitar Hero in March to run the Activision Blizzard division in Silicon Valley. Activision bought Guitar Hero from RedOctane in 2006. Activision Chairman and CEO Bobby Kotick served on the Yahoo board. Rosensweig, with his depth of Internet and consumer experience, had been considered for a number of high-profile gigs.


Running a consumer brand is a no-brainer for Rosensweig. And, though video-game makers are sliding, is a hot company in a hot space. In November, the Santa Clara, Calif., company raised $57 million in venture capital. The round was led by Insight Venture Partners. Previous investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Foundation Capital. has raised more than $160 million.

The way it works: Students pay a fee to rent a textbook by the semester, quarter or summer. Renting versus buying can help students, who might spend up to $1,000 a year on textbooks., which opened its online store in 2007, has rented more than 2 million titles and has an inventory of 4.2 million. It says it has saved students at more than 6,400 colleges $137 million.

The idea of renting textbooks has been around for decades but caught fire on the Internet. Even more competition is jumping in after Congress last year set aside $10 million to give grants to college bookstores to start textbook rental programs. Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. recently said it would launch a textbook rental program for college students through campus bookstores and websites.

-- Jessica Guynn


Activision’s Guitar Hero chief exits after less than a year