Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch Resigns

William Lynch Resigns
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Barnes & Noble (BKS) announced Monday that CEO William Lynch has resigned from the company, effective immediately. Michael P. Huseby, who joined the company last year as CFO, will take over as president of the company and CEO of its Nook division. Allen Lindstrom will be promoted to take his place as CFO.

Lynch (above) has been on the job for just over three years, and the company notes in its announcement that he's played a role in developing various offerings in its line of Nook e-readers and tablets, including the Nook Simple Touch and Nook HD+. But that part of the company has been floundering for some time: In the third quarter of last year, Nook sales fell by 26 percent, and last month the company announced that it would stop making its own Nook color tablets. It's also tried to boost sales with heavy discounting, though competitor Amazon (AMZN) recently responded with some discounts of its own on Kindle tablets.

Things haven't been going any better in stores -- in response to plummeting sales, the company announced earlier this year that it was planning on shuttering up to a third of its stores across the country. The ongoing downsizing of the bookseller's physical presence has contributed to declining sales figures, with overall sales dropping 10 percent year-over-year last quarter.

The abrupt departure of Lynch doesn't seem to be cheering up Barnes & Noble's investors, as the stock is down 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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No surprise they are doing poorly. I was a devoted B&N shopper and member for years...then it started to decline. First, customer service in the stores and online became unresponsive. The Nook became the total focus of the business. The Barnes and Noble membership frankly sucks now because discounts were basically done away with (except for the lousy free shipping deal and a paltry in store discount). My spouse and I have both a Kindle Fire and a Nook Color-the Nook Color is a better e-reader (lighter, easier to read) but in all other aspects, the Kindle Fire and Amazon support are vastly superior. The B&N customer service line for the Nook is outsourced to some offshore call center whose employees offer a smiling, oppositional politeness and NO HELP...I was so frustrated I called a local store for help when I couldn't access an e book I purchased. The guy at the store said " the first thing I want you to repeat is you will never call B&N customer service again-just call us. They don't know anything and can't help you at all."( He was right-and he DID help me.) Nook apps are few and the e-books are way expensive. SO DISAPPOINTED. They did away with most of the rare and out of print books that were a staple of my regular orders-I'm a vintage film buff and B&N was my "go to" for this stuff. The stores are no longer well kept-the bathrooms and cafes are dirty and uninviting. I used to absolutely love the place! They should go back to what they did well-offer a clean, inviting space with attention to BOTH e books and hard copy books. Make your membership worth something again. Reestablish a reputation for customer service excellence and bring your call centers back to the US-and for God's sake get some people who can intelligently address people's tech questions about the Nook if you intend to keep it. Add more apps and price them competitively. It's sad how far it's fallen.

July 09 2013 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I bought the Nook Color when it first hit the shelves. Honestly, it has been nothing but a headache. The design is poor and upgrading it is near impossible. I have invested more than a hundred bucks trying to keep the thing charged. I can see why B&N is having problems if they put all of their eggs in this "Nook" basket.

July 09 2013 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Better hurry and use my gift cards:)

July 09 2013 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not many Americans can afford things like a Nook these days.Of course B & N is hurting. Don't always look to place blame on a person...circumstances, like an on-going recession, is still hurting businesses.

July 09 2013 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Why would anyone go pay inflated full prices at Barnes and Noble when there are Half Price Bookstores and Amazon at your fingertips for a fraction of the cost. I used to purchase books until I moved to a city with an amazing library. Instead of accumulating purchased books at home, my family checks them out for as long as we need for free. If there is a book I love and want to own, I do so at a discount.

I agree with the other comment as well. Nobody was buying books at Barnes and Noble anymore because they allowed people to sit around the store all day reading what they wanted and leaving. It became annoying to step over adults and children down the aisles to look for a book. That was a bad move.

July 09 2013 at 12:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JAMES FAMILY's comment

I love books...and my kindle saves space & is cheaper than books. So I read on my Kindle.

July 09 2013 at 2:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

.........back in the day,before the 'net,when you needed a BOOK,you went down to barnes and nobles and got it--be it a text book or required reading that your bs local library might get in by september whatever.
and at barnes and nobles you got a true dscount on a brand new book as well-
or the same for their used texts etc
trade in your texts etc.
there was no

when barnes and nobles made their decision to operate LIKE A LIBRARY.letting the customers sit all around including THE FLOOR,thumbing through FORMERLY BRAND NEW books--the next logical thing happened
WHAT the hell were they thinking here ?

as for this nookeee thing--they should have been light years ahead of amazon due to already being WELL ESTABLISHED and already in the mail orders as well'

fire them all as there are NO EXCUSES for their massive decline.

July 08 2013 at 11:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply