Barry O'Callaghan

Organization founder


Who is Barry O'Callaghan?

Barry O'Callaghan is an Irish businessman, former chairman and CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the Chairman of Education Media and Publishing Group, the Cayman Island holding company for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

He was the largest shareholder in EMPG on its formation in 2007 with a controlling stake of circa 48%. O'Callaghan created Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of the largest educational publishers in the United States, by merging existing companies. Despite the rationale of the merger of Riverdeep, Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt to form HMH, the global financial crisis affected the company by first forcing a restructuring that led to a loss of value of Mr. O'Callaghan's shareholding in EMPG in late 2009, with his holding falling to approximately 22%. Then a further restructuring in early 2010, led to his stake and its value being reduced to 'almost zero'.

Despite the destruction of $3.5 billion of equity value at EMPG, the conversion of approximately 60% of the debt, over $4 billion, into equity, and massive personal debts of O'Callaghan, circa $400 million, he remained for a short time as CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, after the completion of the restructuring. In 2011, O'Callaghan stepped down as CEO and was eventually replaced by Linda Zecher.

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  • Trinity College, Dublin
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

on July 23, 2013


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