Barnes & Noble CEO Resigns

After three years in charge, the CEO leaves amid closing stores and tanking Nook sales.

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

William Lynch, shown here with a Nook, has stepped down as CEO of Barnes and Noble.

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Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch has resigned, according to an announcement issued by the company's board of directors late Monday.

[READ: Barnes and Noble Ditching Tablets, Closing Stores]

"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 Leonard Riggio, chairman of the Barnes & Noble board of directors, in a released statement.

The announcement comes amid earnings woes, particularly surrounding Nook products. At the end of June, the company announced it would stop manufacturing Nook tablets, instead choosing an outside firm to make the tablets while the company focused more on Nook eReaders. The company also announced that Nook revenues were down 34 percent in the fourth quarter from one year ago.

[ALSO: Outlook Darkens for Barnes and Noble's Nook]

While the tablet market has shown strong growth in recent years, Barnes and Noble's version didn't have the sustained traction of Apple's iPads and Amazon's Kindle Fires, and is not even among the top five tablets in sales, as U.S. News reported late last month. The company also plans to close 15 to 20 stores this year, while opening five.

Lynch came to Barnes & Noble in early 2010, after serving as executive vice president of HSN.com. Though the announcement of his resignation listed no replacement, it said CFO Michael Huseby has been appointed president of Barnes and Noble and CEO of Nook Media.

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