Barnes & Noble has fired its CEO Demos Parneros for violating company policies. The company's statement didn't indicate exactly which policies were violated, however, it did note that Parneros’ termination "is not due to any disagreement with the company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto." Parneros will not receive any severance payment and he's no longer a member of the company’s board of directors. The action was taken by Barnes & Noble's board of directors, who were advised by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Barnes & Noble said it has also appointed a leadership group to share the duties of the office of the CEO until a new leader is named. The group includes the following: Allen Lindstrom, chief financial officer; Tim Mantel, chief merchandising officer; and Carl Hauch, vice president, stores. Leonard Riggio remains executive chairman of Barnes & Noble, and will be involved in its management.
Total Retail's Take: OK, so why was Parneros fired? What policies did he violate? The mystery continues. What we do know is that Parneros joined Barnes & Noble in November 2016 as chief operating officer, and was named CEO in 2017. Prior to his tenure at Barnes & Noble, he was president of Staples’ North American stores and online business. We also know that under Parneros' tenure as CEO, which began in April 2017, Barnes & Noble's stock lost almost one-third of its value, dropping to its lowest point in about a quarter century in March. Several high-level retail executives have been ousted in recent months amid allegations of improper conduct, including leaders at Nike, lululemon athletica, Guess?, and Tapestry. Whatever the reason for Parneros’ firing, the sudden vacancy leaves Barnes & Noble treading water while it looks for a new leader.