HMH Restructuring Begins

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After announcing in February that it would take actions to reduce costs in 2017 following a disappointing 2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has begun laying off staffers in its educational and trade divisions.

In a statement, the company confirmed that it “initiated organizational changes last week to help us streamline our business process.” The statement continued: “Such changes always require difficult decisions regarding roles and responsibilities of our talented colleagues.”

The statement follows a filing the company made with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16; the filing states that HMH “informed our employees of certain proposed operational efficiency and cost-reductions” intended to right-size the company and make it more efficient.

Although HMH’s educational publishing group has had a tougher financial time than the trade division—and is in a market undergoing significant changes—cuts have been made in both units. PW has learned of a number of jobs that have been eliminated in the trade group, including that of two high ranking executives.

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As part of the restructuring, HMH said in the filing that it is making “organizational design changes across layers of the company below the executive team” that will result in “reductions in force.” HMH also said it is in the process of finding a way to consolidate its office space.

The filing said HMH expects to complete these organizational design changes by the end of May and to “finish all remaining actions by the end of 2018.” Also in the filing: HMH cannot estimate, at this time, how much it will save by the cost reductions.

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In February, HMH named Jack Lynch its new CEO, replacing Linda Zecker, who resigned in 2016.

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