ZECHER OUT: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s chief executive of the past five years, Linda K. Zecher, has resigned from the job. She declined to elaborate on the reasons when asked by The Wall Street Journal, although observers suggest the move may be tied to the company’s sluggish financials. Earlier this year the publishing powerhouse forecasted 2016 billings to be between $1.63 billion to $1.7 billion, but has since lowered its projections to the $1.53 billion to $1.6 billion range.
Under Zecher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt attempted to bolster its digital offerings. In March, HMH launched an online marketplace where teachers and developers can buy and sell digital resources. Last year it bought the majority of Scholastic’s education technology business for $575 million. Other edtech asset purchases include MeeGenius, a digital book provider, and online portfolio tool, SchoolChapters. Zecher also steered the company through its initial public offering in 2013.
HMH’s interim CEO will be L. Gordon Crovitz, a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal.