Get To Know: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s CMO, John Dragoon

Get To Know Spotlight Series at MarketingLand.comJohn Dragoon is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. As the CMO of one of the world’s leading publishers and largest providers of pre-K-12 education solutions, Dragoon leads HMH’s product management, product marketing, field marketing, corporate marketing, marketing operations and consumer marketing.

Before joining Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dragoon served as Chief Marketing Officer and Channel Chief of Novell from October 2003 through April 2011. While at Novell, he oversaw all aspects of the company’s marketing and partner programs.

Dragoon’s marketing leadership experience includes the roles of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Art Technology Group (“ATG”), and the Vice President of Operations at Internet Capital Group. Dragoon also spent more than 16 years at IBM, where he held a number of marketing and sales positions.

Dragoon is a graduate of The Johnson School at Cornell University where he received his MBA, after earning a BS in economics and computer science from Union College.

Get To Know:

John Dragoon

CMO @ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Age: 53
  • HQ: Boston, MA
  • Apple or Android? Apple
  • First Job: Mobil Gas Station Attendant
  • Hobby: Golf & Photography
  • First Car: ’75 Plymouth Fury

What mobile device can you not live without?

My iPhone; but, I seemed to live nearly five decades without it, so I’m sure I’d make it.

Can we take a peek at your iPhone’s home screen?

John Dragoon phone screen

What app do you use most often for work?

Email, I also really like having all my cards stored in CardStar to thin the wallet out.

What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?

Facebook for personal connections.

What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?

Work email, but I start the day reading the Boston Globe and other newspapers on my iPad.

What work challenge keeps you up at night?

The Growth Agenda and how to grow the company and stay true to the brand.

What has been the most exciting work development this year?

Taking our 170 year old company public.

How many miles have you traveled this year?

A very light travel year: 20,000.

What other career would you like to try?


What does your desk look like right now?

I have a stand up desk which really helps my focus and energy level.

John Dragoon workspace

What is the last business book you read?

Just finished Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs. Hard not to admire the genius of Steve Jobs and his many contributions, but he didn’t come off as a very nice guy. I’d like to think you can be both an innovator and nice.

Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?

In general, I’m underwhelmed by most advertising. I do like the current Charles Schwab campaign, and in particular, their tag line “Own Your Tomorrow”. I think it’s authentic and I like the message that we are in charge of our own future.YouTube Preview Image

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Features & Analysis | Features: Get To Know | Interviews | Top News


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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  • Takeshi Young

    Are they related to Dunder Mifflin?

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