Barnes & Noble Names 4th CEO in as Many Years
Barnes & Noble has a new CEO, its fourth in the last four years. The bookstore chain said on Thursday it had named its operations chief of five months, Demos Parneros, to be its new chief executive. The hiring comes eight months after Barnes & Noble ousted Ron Boire not even a year into his tenure, saying he was "not a good fit" in unusually direct language for a corporate release. Boire's departure created new tumult at a bookstore chain trying to get back to growth and be ready for Amazon.com's latest incursion on its turf with physical stores. After Boire's departure, chairman and top shareholder Len Riggio took over as CEO on an interim basis.
Total Retail's Take: This is a tough job, evidenced by the fact that Barnes & Noble is on its fourth CEO in four years. The retailer has struggled to recover from Amazon taking significant market share away, and is now dealing with the re-emergence of local independent book stores. To make matters worse for Barnes & Noble, Amazon has decided to get into the brick-and-mortar side of book selling, which figures to further eat into Barnes & Noble's business. Barnes & Noble needs stability in its leadership ranks to transform its business to better compete with external threats and internal challenges (e.g., excess retail stores). Hopefully the promotion of Parneros will provide that for the company.