Back in July of last year, Barnes & Noble announced that its former CEO, William Lynch, was to resign immediately. The resignation set off a huge executive shuffle with Michael P. Huseby being named CEO of Nook Media and President of Barnes & Noble. The board must have liked Huseby's work as he's now been promoted.
Barnes & Noble announced this morning that it has a new CEO in Huseby. He will assume the role immediately and be "responsible for all of the company's business units including Barnes & Noble Retail, Barnes & Noble College and Nook Media." Huseby has also been elected to serve on the Board that he will routinely report to.
“Since the day he joined the company, Mike has proven to be an excellent financial and business executive, whose leadership skills have earned the respect of the entire organization, as well as our Board of Directors,” said Leonard Riggio, Chairman, Barnes & Noble, Inc. “Although a relative newcomer to the retail book business, he has quickly developed a comprehensive understanding of the unique opportunities and challenges the Company faces, and he has a vision for the future in which I am in complete accord. Mike also has a passion for bookselling, which makes him a perfect fit for this job."
As for Haseby himself, he says he's excited to help Barnes & Noble grow as it faces an uphill battle as the world transitions to digital media:
“I am excited and honored to have been chosen as CEO of one of America’s most beloved companies,” said Michael Huseby, Chief Executive Officer, Barnes & Noble, Inc. “I am pleased, as well, to be joining an organization which is driven by both a sense of mission, and by a commitment to achieve excellence in everything it pursues. Led by Mitchell Klipper, Max Roberts and many exceptional leaders, not to mention thousands of dedicated booksellers, the company is well positioned to maintain and grow its leadership position in the worlds of bookselling and the sale of digital media. My role, as I see it, is to enhance and unlock the value of these businesses for our shareholders. We are well-positioned in today’s dynamic reading and learning markets and confident in our ability to provide our customers with the best content offerings, digital media and educational products available in today’s marketplace."
It will be interesting to see where Barnes & Noble goes from here as the bookseller continues to do solid business at its retail locations while its Nook business flounders. Its Q2 2014 financial results revealed that its Nook business brought in $109 million for the quarter which was a 32.3 percent decrease from a year ago. That's a problem, and one that Barnes & Noble might not able to fix.
There's also the possibility that Barnes & Noble founder and Chairman Leonard Riggio will buy back the retail business and take it private. If the Nook and college textbook business continues to do poorly, Riggio may initiate his buyback plan. There's also the possibility that the company could offload its Nook business.
Image via Barnes & Noble/Business Wire