Barnes & Noble Fires C.E.O. Without Severance but Doesn’t Explain Why

Barnes & Noble Fires C.E.O. Without Severance but Doesn’t Explain Why

Barnes & Noble fired its chief govt, Demos Parneros, for violating the corporate’s insurance policies, the company said on Tuesday with out specifying the insurance policies.

Mr. Parneros was not terminated due to “any disagreement with the company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto,” Barnes & Noble stated in a press release.

The firm added that he wouldn’t obtain any severance fee and that he had been faraway from the board.
Mr. Parneros is the corporate’s fourth chief govt to depart in 5 years. He had been in his position for simply over a yr, having risen to the place from the position of chief working officer to switch Ronald Boire. Mr. Boire had spent lower than a yr as chief govt earlier than being ousted in August 2016 after board members determined he was “not a good fit for the company.”

Before Mr. Boire, Michael P. Huseby resigned in July 2015, and William Lynch stepped down in July 2013.

Until a everlasting alternative for Mr. Parneros is discovered, his position can be stuffed briefly by a gaggle of executives that embody the chief monetary officer, the chief merchandising officer and the vice chairman answerable for shops. Mary Ellen Keating, a spokeswoman for the corporate, declined to remark additional.

Leonard Riggio, who purchased Barnes & Noble in 1971 and expanded it right into a nationwide chain, acted as chief govt between Mr. Boire’s tenure and that of Mr. Parneros. Mr. Riggio stays the chief chairman of the corporate.

Barnes & Noble has been battered by digital competitors, most notably from Amazon.com, and has struggled with declining foot site visitors, shrinking gross sales and retailer closures. Amazon is aggressively increasing into bodily retail, with greater than a dozen bookstores across the nation and a rising variety of pop-up shops, in addition to an expanded bodily footprint by way of its acquisition of Whole Foods.

At the identical time, there was a shocking resurgence amongst unbiased booksellers, whose numbers have risen considerably in recent times after many years of decline. And gross sales of print books have rebounded, a pattern that ought to have benefited Barnes & Noble.

After turning into chief govt final yr, Mr. Parneros introduced in new executives and launched a number of new initiatives supposed to extend retailer site visitors and gross sales, together with a Barnes & Noble guide membership.

During a current name to debate earnings, Mr. Parneros stated the shop can be experimenting with new retailer prototypes this yr, with smaller and “more flexible” designs for shops. Still, the corporate’s gross sales have continued to say no and its inventory value has dropped greater than 30 % since Mr. Parneros grew to become chief govt.

The firm’s most up-to-date earnings report, for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2018, confirmed that gross sales fell by greater than 6 % within the yr by way of April. Sales for the corporate’s digital Nook enterprise fell 23.9 %.

The vagueness of Barnes & Noble’s announcement left trade consultants to take a position concerning the causes for Mr. Parneros’s departure and scrutinize the timing of the announcement, which got here late within the day simply earlier than the Independence Day vacation.

“This either means that they want to bury it, because this is a week when nobody’s around,” stated Mike Shatzkin, a publishing knowledgeable and the founding father of the Idea Logical Company, “or that something came to light, some inexorable, unresolvable conflict surfaced and called for an immediate change that was not negotiable.”

A model of this text seems in print on , on Page Bthree of the New York version with the headline: Barnes & Noble Fires C.E.O., Saying Policies Were Violated. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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