Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch resigns

Associated Press + More

NEW YORK (AP) — Barnes & Noble on Monday said William Lynch is resigning as chief executive after three years on the job.

The New York-based book retailer which has been struggling with declining sales and widening losses, also said Monday it is reviewing its strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate.

Barnes & Noble named Michael Huseby as president of the company and chief executive of its Nook Media unit and promoted controller Allen Lindstrom to the post of chief financial officer.

The management changes come just weeks after Barnes & Noble posted a wider net loss and said sales plunged the three months ended April 30, with revenue at stores open at least a year dropping 8.8 percent. Overall retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble bookstores and online sales, declined 10 percent, in part because of store closings.

Moreover, the company said it would stop making its own Nook color touchscreen tablets because they failed to keep up with competitors.

Barnes & Noble Inc. had been pouring money into developing its Nook devices to keep up with changing reading habits and beat back competition from retailers such as Amazon, which makes the popular Kindle readers.

The company said it will continue to make its more basic, black-and-white e-readers, but farm out the tablet manufacturing to a third-party. Lynch did not offer specifics of how a tablet partnership would work, but said the company was in discussions with "a lot of interested parties." Some have speculated that Microsoft, which has a 6.8 percent stake in the Nook unit, could offer to buy it outright.

The about-face troubled investors, who sent the shares down sharply. The stock has recovered a bit since then, closing Monday at $17.66. The stock slipped about 3.3 percent in after-hours trading.

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