Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has ended its five month search for a new leader by appointing Linda Zecher as president and CEO. Most recently a corporate v-p at Microsoft in charge of its Worldwide Public Sector business, Zecher was also named to the board. She succeeds Barry O’Callaghan who resigned in March. Michael Muldowney, who has served as interim CEO, will continue as CFO.

Zecher has held executive positions with a number of technology companies, including PeopleSoft, Oracle and Evolve. "The board sought a CEO with proven executive experience, the ability to deliver financial results, and a deep familiarity with the technology and education space. Linda is the perfect fit,” said Lawrence K. Fish, chairman, in a prepared statement. For her part, Zecher said, “I look forward to combining HMH’s rich content and leadership position in the market with technology innovations in education to advance teacher and classroom capabilities around the globe.”

In its release, HMH noted that Zecher helped PeopleSoft with a successful Initial Public Offering, and then helped arrange the sale of Evolve, adding to speculation that once the markets improve HMH’s current owners will try for an IPO or look for a new buyer.