Pushing His Luck, HMH Owner Promises 450 New Jobs

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka


DUBLIN: Barry O’Callaghan, the chief executive officer of Education Media and Publishing Group (EMPG) — the parent company of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — declared on Wednesday that the company’s investors are “under water,” drowning under $8 billion of debt (half of that representing the purchase of HMH in 2007). On Wednesday, the news broke that the company will restructure the debt, reducing it to around $3 billion, but leaving many many investors — including O’Callaghan — with nothing.  O’Callaghan, who was once deemed the youngest billionaire in Ireland, told the Irish Times on Friday that he would repay much of his debt and would not fire any of the 300 people employed in Dublin. What’s perhaps even more surprising, he promised to go ahead with a commitment to create another 450 jobs at the company’s Irish headquarters.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.