Tony Lucki's had enough.
He's going to retire and walk away from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
And it's the HMH employees who are the lucky ones! They'll have THE Barry O'Callaghan at their helm, steering their Titanic liner into the stormy seas of educational publishing.
What does he know about publishing, those same employees will ask, and they already know the answer. Mr. O'Callaghan knows finance and money, and you can't very well buy materials without money. That's as much as he needs to know.
A CEO hires people to do the rest of the grunt work, like publishing adult trade or children's or textbooks. The captain of a ship doesn't swab the deck, does he? He doesn't even have to know where the mops are stowed, but the decks get cleaned just the same.
Mr. O'Callaghan is younger, so he's more energetic than Mr. Lucki. He's going to need that energy to shuttle between Boston and Dublin. He'll be CEO of the whale-sized publishing company and at the same time, he'll be running the parent company EMPG, and checking in on the loyal workers at Riverdeep.
Either he'll need a very fast cigarette boat or a private jet to handle all that travel.
Looks like the little minnow has bit off more than it can swallow. The best hope for HMH to stay alive rests in the capabilities of the little fish who toil away, selling books and running divisions profitably.
Mr. O'Callaghan can then focus on what he knows: money. Lose the heavy debt load that's weighing down HMH and maybe he can turn around the ship before it hits that monetary iceberg.