Alex Bloom, formerly chief operating officer at apps firm Appia, is the new president of Raleigh-based WebAssign.

Bloom joined Appia when that company purchased Dallas-based Handango in 2010. Bloom was Handango’s chief executive officer.

At that time, Appia was known as PocketGear.

Bloom also is a former vice president and general manager at Motricity. Earlier in his career, he worked for Verizon Wireless.

Jud Bowman, chief executive officer at Appia, spun PocketGear out of Motricity.

At WebAssign, Bloom joins a  venture that was incubated at N.C. State in 1997. The firm provides online instructional tools for faculty and students.

“I am thrilled to join such an exciting company as WebAssign and help build this already strong business into something great,” Bloom said in a statement. “I am impressed with what WebAssign founder, Dr. John Risley, and team have built over the last 10 years and the opportunity in front of us.

“In my previous roles,” Bloom added, “I led companies through the massive growth in the mobile content (apps) industry and I see education technology and WebAssign as being in the early stages of massive adoption and growth – similar to where mobile was 10 years ago. It’s an exciting time for this business.”

WebAssign partners with textbook publishers to customize and include questions for math and science. Instructors can also create their own questions.

“We are looking forward to leveraging all of Alex’s previous experience and leadership capabilities to guide WebAssign,” Risley said. ”One of his greatest strengths is his ability to build and lead teams. He has brought structure to growing organizations and his leadership ability will be a key ingredient to our success.”