Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch Resigns

Posted on July 8, 2013

Barnes and Noble CEO William Lynch has resigned as CEO and director. The resignation comes as Barnes and Noble's Nook ereader has struggled against competition from Amazon's Kindle devices, the iPad and Android powered tablets. It was recently revealed that Barnes & Noble has stopped manufacturing color Nooks and is seeking a partner to help it manufacture its Nook devices.

Barnes & Noble also announced today that Michael P. Huseby has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Nook Media LLC and President of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Max J. Roberts, CEO of Barnes & Noble College, will report to Huseby. A new CEO was not named.

Leonard Riggio, Chairman of Barnes & Noble, said 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."

William Lynch said in a statement, "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."

The New York Times says the senior leadership changes could be a sign Barnes & Noble is about to separate its digital and retail divisions. Reuters quotes Barclays analyst Alan Rifkin who says, "With this announcement, Barnes & Noble is, in our view, signaling that it is attempting to reduce its dependence upon the Nook."

Separating the digital and print division might temporarily help Barnes & Noble's brick-and-mortar stores, but the company won't be able to escape a business that is rapidly transforming from print to digital formats.