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Prezi Co-founder Retires After 12 Years

Csenge Schőnviszky 2020.07.29.

Péter Árvai, co-founder of Prezi, is retiring from the position of CEO, but he will still help the company as the Chairman of the Board. His successor will be Jim Szafranski, the current Chief Operating Officer.

Árvai announced his decision on Facebook, saying:

I’ve been working all my life to help people understand each other, through two activities – entrepreneurship and activism. Now I want to integrate the two.

He details the results of the global startup, highlighting that Prezi’s more than 100 million user base has created the world’s largest presentation library- presentations have been viewed many billions of times while partnering with all major organizations from TED to the UN. “We can say that Prezi, which had started in Budapest, has become one of the most widely known Hungarian brands in the world.”


Prezi was founded in 2009 in Budapest, Hungary, by Ádám Somlai-Fischer, Péter Halácsy, and Péter Árvai. The company incorporated on May 20, 2009, and received its first major investment from TED two months later. In November 2009, a San Francisco office was opened. In early 2011, Prezi launched its first iPad application, a year later, an iPhone app. In 2018, the number of users reached 100 million and presentations were viewed a total of 3.5 billion times.

Prezi is a non-linear presentation tool, in fact a virtual canvas on which the elements of a presentation can be freely applied and arranged. Because it is an Internet service, it does not need to be installed on your computer, it can be used immediately after registration from your browser. Users can login to the web interface to see their own presentations, shared, and non-paid ones. Users can also be in a group with their friends and show their presentations. Any presentation can be modified, played, or downloaded from anywhere.

He writes, however, that there is still more to be done in terms of understanding between people.

“I had to realize that we need deeper, more personal and more heartfelt experiences to help people on divisive topics like climate change, persistent discrimination, lack of opportunities, and human dignity. Now, thanks to Jim, I will have more time. I want to deal with how I can use the learned lessons from exclusion and social responsibility to build bridges even on the most difficult issues, and to create tools and experiences.”

Featured photo illustration Márton Mónus/MTI

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