Oh, you can bet that Hanson & Co. are taking the losses seriously. So seriously that even more people seem destined to lose their jobs in the coming weeks and months.
But that's not the point of investor calls. The purpose of these verbal parades is to present the rosiest picture possible for the folks holding the purse strings. That is how CEOs keep their jobs - even failing CEOs like Hanson.
As for large-scale sell-offs, the most natural victim would be NGL, especially as their leadership has departed. Assuming Pearson is involved in this pending transaction, as has been rumored, this makes little sense though. as Pearson recently sold off its K-12 business. There could be another NGL buyer in the mix, however.
Assuming the Pearson-related rumor IS true (speculation that something is up within that company is heavy right now, too), the most obvious target would be the former Delmar imprint in NY. While this business unit does seem to perform better than the general HED group (hard to tell, these days), losing that piece of the business frees Cengage from an entire branch location and a whole lot of personnel costs, too. Delmar's disciplines also line up quite nicely with Pearson's. The other thing to keep in mind there is that Clifton Park has never accounted for more than 10-12% of Thomson/Cengage domestic revenues, so while the success has been there through the years, the savings benefit could well outweigh whatever that group contributes to the overall profitability.
Boston HQ is going no where. Hansen sank far too much money and climbed way too far out on a PR limb to promote the space to pull back now. The irony here is, of course, that he unveiled an open, collaboration-oriented workspace just before a pandemic forced people apart. Seems par for the course when it comes to Hansen's leadership record.
The other thing to keep in mind is that given the virtual workplace situation everyone operates in right now, physical location begins to matter less and less to employers. Many companies are sharply reducing office space or eliminating large HQs altogether - simply because if they are no longer really needed. At least not like before. This puts any and all physical hubs at risk of closure - the few "bigwigs" in Mason can just as well work from home and commute to Boston as needed in the future.
Gonna be an interesting 2021 at Cengage, eh? But isn't it always . . .