The Board of Directors of Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) today announced that William Lynch has resigned as Chief Executive Officer and director of the Company effective immediately. The Company also announced the following organizational changes: Michael P. Huseby has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of NOOK Media LLC and President of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Max J. Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble College will continue to lead the digital education strategy and report to Mr. Huseby, as will the Executive Management team of NOOK Media. Mr. Huseby and Mitchell Klipper, Chief Executive Officer of the Barnes & Noble Retail Group, will report directly to Leonard Riggio, Executive Chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc.
The Company also announced that Allen Lindstrom, Vice President and the Company’s Corporate Controller, has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. He will report to Mr. Huseby. Kanuj Malhotra, Vice President of Corporate Development, has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer of NOOK Media LLC.
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“The board lost confidence in Lynch. Investors lost confidence,” Belus Capital Markets analyst Brian Sozzi said Monday. He said that Lynch didn’t have a definitive plan at the last earnings call, after Barnes & Noble posted a larger quarterly loss and said sales plunged in the three months ended April 30. Revenue at stores open at least a year dropped 8.8 percent and overall retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble bookstores and online sales, tumbled 10 percent, in part because of store closings.
Barnes & Noble named Lynch CEO in March 2010 after joining the company the previous year to oversee its Web unit. As CEO, he focused on building the company’s Nook digital reading and mobile device division. After some initial success, sales of Nook devices fell during the holiday shopping season and last month the company said it would stop making tablets.