Today, the company announced that William Lynch has resigned from the CEO post and board, effective immediately.
As a result of the resignation, Michael Huseby — who joined Barnes & Noble as CFO 16 months ago from Cablevision Systems — has been named CEO of Nook Media and president of Barnes & Noble. Meanwhile, Max Roberts will remain as CEO of Barnes & Noble College and Mitchell Klipper will continue to oversee the retail group.
“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…” said Chairman Leonard Riggio in a statement. “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.” Riggio also said that the company, with 675 book stores across the country, is “in the process of reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate.”
Barnes & Noble’s struggles have been well documented, and the company has failed to make inroads next to Amazon.com. A $300 million investment from Microsoft last year in the Nook business unit hasn’t done much to help, with Barnes & Noble reporting that sales of the tablet computer and e-reader devices were down 34 percent during the most recent quarter.
“We are taking big steps to reduce the losses in the Nook segment, as we move to a partner-centric model in tablets and reduce overhead costs,” then Barnes & Noble CEO Lynch said in a statement last month. “We plan to continue to innovate in the single purpose black-and-white eReader category, and the underpinning of our strategy remains the same today as it has since we first entered the digital market, which is to offer customers any digital book, magazine or newspaper, on any device.”