HMH Signs Outsourcing Deal, Lays Off Sixty-five

Adrian Versteegh

Another wave of layoffs hit Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) last week, with the publisher confirming plans to eliminate sixty-five jobs at its offices in Boston and Orlando. The decision follows a deal signed in July with global outsourcing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions, which will see a portion of HMH’s information technology services transferred overseas.

According to the Boston Globe, a spokesperson for HMH said that the partnership gives Cognizant “responsibility for application development and maintenance,” but that the publisher’s own staff would continue to oversee “strategy, direction, business knowledge, innovation, and the customer interface.” Although Cognizant is headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey, most of its 63,700 employees are based in India.

The latest round of layoffs comes as HMH’s parent company, Education Media and Publishing Group, prepares to announce the restructuring of its $7.1 billion debt. Revenue at HMH—one of the largest educational publishers in the United States—has suffered as textbook budgets have contracted, with some schools opting to forego books entirely in favor of electronic resources. The publisher also made news recently with a major executive hire, tapping Bruce Nichols to oversee its adult trade and reference division.