July 18, 2024
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Remember Scholastic book fairs? Meet the Binghamton grad helping lead iconic children’s book publisher, distributor

Haji Glover MBA ’99, as Scholastic's new chief financial officer, wants to use evolving social media platforms to help children grow their passion for reading

Haji Glover MBA ’99 became the Chief Financial Officer for Scholastic in January 2024. Haji Glover MBA ’99 became the Chief Financial Officer for Scholastic in January 2024.
Haji Glover MBA ’99 became the Chief Financial Officer for Scholastic in January 2024. Image Credit: Haji Glover.

“What should I read first?”

If Haji Glover MBA ’99 can help inspire children of all ages to excitedly ask themselves that very question — whether they’re diving into an abridged classic, an escapist fantasy or even a graphic novel — then he’s done his job.

Glover, who became Scholastic’s chief financial officer in January, has prioritized using evolving social media platforms to help more young people discover how much they can enjoy reading.

“Whether parents are reading with their children or the children just find it on their own, those early years have always been the sweet spot that will make them more likely to carry along that love of reading as they grow older,” Glover said. “So, our big challenge right now is that platforms are changing, and young people are reading more short snippets on social media, so we need to find new ways of meeting young people where they’re at.”

Glover, who served as Scholastic’s senior vice president of corporate finance from 2020 to 2022 before becoming Amazon’s director of finance, enters his new role at a time that he describes as an important moment of growth in Scholastic’s history.

As CFO, he is responsible for leading Scholastic’s global finance organization and overseeing all financial functions. His focus is facilitating growth across the company’s leading businesses while supporting its long-term strategy and capital allocation priorities.

Some traditions, like those school book fairs many fondly recall from their childhood, will always be constants for a company dedicated to ensuring every child has the opportunity to “get literate.” But a key part of Glover’s strategy includes recognizing the national conversation and clash of opinions surrounding what children read inside or outside school settings.

“When I took this role, I knew I wanted to make my own impact. We’re at a crossroads of sorts, with lots of people on both sides who feel polarized about what their children should read and learn versus what they shouldn’t,” Glover said. “As we are publishing books and making sure we distribute them to children, I want to be part of that next story of how we’re going to continue as a publishing company in a world that’s looking for the two sides to come together at some point.”

Building a professional brand

Glover’s passion for finance began in his early college years, and after graduating from Lehigh University, he joined Lockheed Martin in Owego, N.Y., in 1996 as a financial analyst.

“There’s an aspect of corporate finance where, yes, you have to understand the numbers, but you also have to understand how the numbers impact the direction of the company,” said Glover, who for years harbored a goal of eventually becoming the CFO of a publicly traded company.

During his 27-year career, Glover has held many significant financial leadership roles, including positions at Lockheed Martin and Ford Motor Company. While working at Lockheed, Glover joined a cohort of 14 colleagues who enrolled in Binghamton University’s Master of Business Administration program in the School of Management.

One of his standout courses involved financial modeling, which challenged students to build a model for launching a new car. Not only did they have to figure out how to sell this new car, but tabulate the marketing costs as well.

Glover has carried this experience with him in the years since as a valuable lesson in how to focus on his target audience.

“What I gained during my time at Binghamton was learning how to build your brand, and as long as you can always challenge yourself to learn something new, that’s going to give more people exposure to your abilities,” he said. “Moving around in different fields and industries really drove me to want to be the best I can be at what I do.”

Posted in: Business, In the World, SOM