Executive Leadership

Executive Leadership

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s mission is to change people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Meet the HMH executives who are leading the charge.

Linda K. Zecher

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Linda Zecher

Linda K. Zecher joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in September 2011 as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, bringing a strong track record of business transformation and results.  Her extensive sales, marketing and technology experience contribute to her ability to successfully lead HMH’s transformation into a global leader in educational content and media.  Previously, she served as Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's $8 billion Worldwide Public Sector organization, where she led a team of nearly 2,000 sales and marketing professionals serving government, education and healthcare customers in more than 100 countries. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2003, Linda held leadership positions with Texas Instruments, Bank of America, PeopleSoft, Oracle and Evolve Corp. Linda currently serves on the board of Hasbro Corporation and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She has previously served on numerous boards including the Intelligence National Security Association (INSA), U.S. State Department’s board for overseas schools and James Madison University’s board of visitors. Linda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University and an honorary doctorate from Bentley University.

Eric Shuman

Chief Financial Officer

Eric ShumanEric joined HMH in 2009 as Chief Operating Officer and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in late 2011 following the appointment of CEO Linda Zecher. He brings a long track record of leadership and results in media and content, and deep experience in business model transformation.  Prior to joining HMH, Eric served as Chief Executive Officer of Thomson Lifelong Learning Group, a division of The Thomson Corporation specializing in training, skills assessment, and higher education publishing. Previously, Eric was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Thomson Learning, and Chief Financial Officer for Thomson Newspapers. In those capacities, he led several business integrations, restructurings and significant mergers and acquisitions, spanning fifteen years with Thomson. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Boston College.

William Bayers

Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Bill BayersBill joined Houghton Mifflin in May of 2007 as Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel and was made Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel in March 2008. Previously, he served as Vice President and General Counsel of Harcourt Education Group. Bill oversees all legal, regulatory and corporate matters for the Company. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Dr. Tim Cannon

Executive Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances

Tim CannonTim's career in business, organizational and IT strategy spans nearly three decades. Before joining HMH, Tim was Senior Director of Business Strategy for Microsoft's Worldwide Public Sector organization, where he oversaw the development and execution of business strategies to better serve Government, Education and Health customers and partners worldwide. Prior to that role, Tim was Senior Director of Business Strategy for Microsoft’s U.S Public Sector. He has also held leadership roles at companies like Digital Equipment Corporation and Oracle, and helped many large organizations cope with the dynamics of change by implementing responses to maximize shareholder value. Tim is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Florida.


Brook Colangelo

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Brook ColangeloBrook joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in January 2013 from the White House, where he held the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) since 2009. With over ten years’ experience in technology strategy and implementation, Brook joined the White House team in 2008 to spearhead the Obama-Biden transition project. Prior to that, he held several senior IT leadership roles, including within the Democratic National Convention Committee, The American Red Cross’ Hurricane Recovery Program and QRS Newmedia. Brook holds an honors degree in Political Communications from The George Washington University.

Mary Cullinane

Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Mary CullinaneMary is HMH’s first Chief Content Officer. She has led the transformation of the company’s content development capability, bringing a unique combination of education and business experience. Prior to joining HMH in 2012, Mary spent ten years spearheading Microsoft′s education-related innovation programs and initiatives worldwide, including its national 1:1 access programs and its groundbreaking School of the Future in Philadelphia. With another decade of experience as an educator, Director of Technology and administrator in the public sector, Mary is a recognized thought leader in the area of education reform and the effective use of technology. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, and co- authored the book What Next?, which documents lessons learned during the building of the School of the Future. Mary holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from The College of New Jersey. Mary is a member of the board of the Boston Children's Museum.

John K. Dragoon

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

John DragoonJohn joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2012. Previously, he served as Chief Marketing Officer and Channel Chief of Novell, where he led the company's Marketing and Partner programs for over seven years. Prior to joining Novell, John served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Product Management at Art Technology Group (ATG). Before ATG, John served as Vice President, Operations at Internet Capital Group, where he served on the board of nine partner companies and guided strategy, marketing, business development, financing and product development. John also spent more than 16 years at IBM, where he held a number of marketing and sales positions. He holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BS from Union College.

Rose Else-Mitchell

Executive Vice President, Professional Services

EVP, Professional Services Rose Else-MitchellRose joined HMH as part of the Company’s acquisition of Scholastic’s Educational Technology and Services business in May 2015. Now as EVP of Professional Services, Rose leads HMH’s newly formed Professional Services division, which combines all of the Company's services offerings into a single, industry-leading Professional Services organization. Most recently at Scholastic, Rose was Executive Vice President of K-12 US & Global Product Development, responsible for the company’s edtech product strategy and development. Rose joined Scholastic in 2000 and held several positions within the company in her 15 year tenure, including Senior Vice President and Publisher and Vice President of Professional Services. Rose began her career as an English teacher for middle and high school. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Sydney in Australia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oxford, U.K. Rose is a Board member of the Institute of Play, based in New York City.

Gary Gentel

President, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing

Gary GentelGary joined Houghton Mifflin in October of 2003 as Corporate Vice President and Director of Trade Sales and was promoted to Interim President of the combined Trade Group in July 2007. He was given the permanent position in December of that year. Previously, he served as President of Candlewick Press—a children's publisher based in Cambridge, SVP of Trade Sales at Scholastic Books, and SVP and Publisher of The Grosset and Dunlap Group at GP Putnam's Sons—now a division of Penguin Books. Gary started his publishing career as a Sales Representative at Random House in 1980, rising to VP of Children's Sales by 1990.

CJ Kettler

Executive Vice President, Chief of Consumer Brands and Strategy

CJ KettlerCJ Kettler joined HMH in 2014 as CEO of Channel One News following HMH’s acquisition of the company.  Now as Executive Vice President and Chief of Consumer Brands and Strategy, CJ is responsible for the strategic development of HMH’s consumer product portfolio. Prior to joining Channel One News, CJ was a Partner at Propeller Partners, LLC where she acted as a strategic consultant for large media companies and investors in the digital sector. As an entrepreneur, CJ was the Founder and CEO of LIME, the first multi-channel “green lifestyle” brand, now part of Gaiam’s family of healthy lifestyle websites. CJ has also held leadership roles at Travelzoo, Oxygen Media, Solera Capital, MTV Networks, and CBS. CJ holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College, and serves on a variety of boards in the digital media space, including as chairman of the board at Healthychild.org.

Margery Mayer

Executive Vice President, Intervention Solutions

Margery MayerMargery joined HMH as part of the Company’s acquisition of Scholastic’s Educational Technology and Services business in May 2015. A pioneer in the development of research-based educational technology programs, Margery was previously President of Scholastic Education, where she led the development of groundbreaking intervention programs such as READ 180®, System 44®, and MATH 180™. In 2012, she was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishing Hall of Fame.  Margery is on the board of Public Prep Charter Schools in New York City.

Bridgett Paradise

Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Chief People Officer

Bridgett ParadiseBridgett Paradise joined HMH in 2014. As Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Chief People Officer, Bridgett is responsible for human resources strategy and policy, including talent management and acquisition, organizational design and employee benefits, across the Company’s network of offices worldwide. Bridgett joined HMH from Microsoft Corp., where she most recently held the role of General Manager, Human Resources for the Worldwide Services division, with responsibility for 22,000 employees. Bridgett brings extensive experience in HR strategy, recruitment, organizational development and business analysis developed over her twenty-year tenure at Microsoft, including several senior roles at national and international level. Bridgett holds a Master’s of Science in Human Resource Management from Marymount University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Communications from Catawba College.

Lee Ramsayer

Executive Vice President, Global Sales

Lee RamsayerBefore joining HMH, Lee served as Senior Vice President of sales for Monster’s Government Solutions sector. While at Monster, Lee built a dedicated sales team that addressed workforce and economic development in regional economies, and also drove change management and new strategy development sales and system integration partnerships. Prior to Monster, Lee served as General Manager, Government Sales and Consulting Services for Microsoft. In this role, Lee led the development of Microsoft’s strategic approach to state and local governments including the development of go-to-market strategies. Lee currently serves on the board of Innovate Education, a national organization focused on STEM education.