Barnes & Noble CEO steps down following dismal financial reports

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch resigned after the company reported disappointing fourth-quarter numbers. The bookstore chain also recently announced that it's seeking another company with which to produce the B&N Nook tablet devices.

Mary Altaffer/AP
William Lynch has left his position as Barnes & Noble CEO.

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch has announced he is leaving the company, news that came shortly after the release of disappointing fourth-quarter numbers and word that Barnes & Noble is looking to partner with another company to manufacture its Nook tablet devices. 

Rather than naming a direct replacement for Lynch, B&N said Mitchell Klipper will stay in his current position as CEO of the chain’s stores and current CFO Michael Huseby will become CEO of the Nook unit of the company and president of Barnes & Noble. Former vice president of the company Allen Lindstrom has been given the job of Chief Financial Officer, while Leonard Riggio, the company’s chairman, will remain in his post and Max J. Roberts will remain as chief executive officer of the Barnes & Noble College section of the company.

“We thank William Lynch for helping transform Barnes & Noble into a leading digital content provider," Riggio said in a statement. "As the bookselling industry continues to undergo significant transformation, we believe that Michael, Mitchell, and Max are the right executives to lead us into the future.”

Lynch said he had valued his time at B&N.

“There is a great executive team and Board in place at Barnes & Noble, and I look forward to the many innovations the Company will be bringing to its millions of physical and digital media customers in the future,” he said in a statement

Lynch was previously in charge of the bookstore chain’s website, according to the Wall Street Journal

Meanwhile, B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating told the New York Times the company has "no immediate plans to name a CEO."

B&N announced late last month that it was looking to partner with another company to produce its color tablets while still manufacturing their black-and-white devices themselves. The development occurred after the company’s fourth-quarter numbers showed a net loss that was more than double their loss for the same quarter last year.

Meanwhile, in February, Riggio told Barnes & Noble he might bid for the company’s website and stores but left the college bookstores and the Nook business out of that proposition. There has not been an update on the possibility since then. Meanwhile, Microsoft invested $300 million recently in the college store and Nook parts of the business.

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