The bookstore business is in a transition period and Barnes & Noble has caught the worst of it. The company is shuffling around its executives for a fresh perspective, and hopefully better returns later this year.
Barnes & Noble announced today that its CEO, William Lynch, has resigned effective immediately. The resignation set off a chain of executive movement with Michael P. Huseby being appointed CEO of Nook Media and President of Barnes & Noble; Allen Lindstrom, formerly Vice President and Corporate Controller, has been promoted to CFO of Barnes & Noble; and Kanuj Malthora, former Vice President of Corporate Development, has been promoted to CFO of Nook Media.
All of these men will report directly to Leonard Riggio, Executive Chairman of Barnes & Noble. He believes that the new corporate team will help lead the bookstore into the future:
“We thank William Lynch for helping transform Barnes & Noble into a leading digital content provider and for leading in the development of our award-winning line of Nook products including Nook Simple Touch, Nook Simple Touch Glowlight, and Nook HD and Nook HD+. As the bookselling industry continues to undergo significant transformation, we believe that Michael, Mitchell and Max are the right executives to lead us into the future.”
What does that future entail? It's no secret that Riggio wants to buy back Barnes & Noble and take it private. It's also no secret that he wants to license the Nook brand to third-party OEMs to save money on manufacturing its own devices. The press release announcing the corporate shake up doesn't directly address any of this, but it does that the company is "in the process of reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate."
As for Lynch, he says he's thankful for the opportunity to serve as CEO, but is confident the new team will do wonders for the company:
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as CEO of this terrific Company over the last three years. There is a great executive team and Board in place at Barnes & Noble, and I look forward to the many innovations the Company will be bringing to its millions of physical and digital media customers in the future.”
We'll continue to follow the Barnes & Noble saga, and bring you an update when and if Riggio ever gets around to formerly announcing a plan to buy back the company.