Barnes & Noble has been facing a tough market for the past several years now. With dwindling physical book sales as well as a failed attempt at the digital market, the once heavyweight book retailer is facing yet another major setback today. William Lynch, the company's CEO, has just resigned effective immediately.
The resignation came quite unexpected and the company has not yet disclosed any reason for Lynch leaving, but industry analyst are speculating that the deal between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft to buy its Nook properties has fallen through. This would be a major blow to the company as it would lose a possible $1 billion bolster to its coffers and would ditch a division of its company that has never seen a profit.
Barnes & Noble said in a statement:
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. 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.