“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 Riggio 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.”
Other executive changes included the promotions of Allen Lindstrom from v-p and controller to CFO and that of Kanuj Malhotra from v-p of corporate development to CFO of Nook Media LLC.
Lynch’s resignation as CEO, and from the B&N board as well, comes three-and-a-half years after he was appointed to the position and more than four years after he first joined B&N from HSNi to head up Barnes & Noble.com. Lynch was credited with overseeing B&N’s aggressive expansion into device manufacturing and with seeing through Microsoft’s investment in what would become Nook Media. Following disastrous sales of Nook devices over the holidays that continued into 2013, B&N announced in late June it was sharply scaling back its manufacturing efforts, particularly in the tablet area.
Lynch’s departure is sure to increase investor (and publisher) interest on when B&N’s board will make a decision on the offer by Riggio to buy the company’s trade retail stores. In the press release, Riggio said B&N continues to review its strategic plan “and will provide an update when appropriate.”