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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

B&N CEO resigns

William Lynch goes, amid Nook fall-out

The BBC reports

The chief executive of US bookstore chain Barnes & Noble, William Lynch, has resigned amid a continued drop in sales of its Nook e-books and devices.

His resignation comes just days after the firm reported that sales in the Nook business fell 34% in the fourth quarter, from a year earlier.

That saw its overall losses more than double to $118.6m (£77m) in the period.

The Nook e-reader was launched in 2009, but has failed to take on the Amazon Kindle in the growing e-books market.

"Lynch was highly instrumental in making Nook a centrepiece in Barnes & Noble's broader operational strategy," said Alan Rifkin, an analyst at Barclays.

"With this announcement, Barnes & Noble is, in our view, signalling that it is attempting to reduce its dependence upon the Nook."

So where now for the Nook?

While reporting its latest earnings last month, the company said that it plans to reduce losses in the segment by "limiting risks associated with manufacturing".

Unsaid, between the lines, is the prospect of a takeover by Microsoft, which is logical enough, as the megacompany owns 17% of the operation already.  But what they would do with it is completely up in the air.

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