Advertise with

Barnes & Noble is starting a search for its fifth CEO since 2010 following Demos Parneros’s sudden termination.
Barnes & Noble is starting a search for its fifth CEO since 2010 following Demos Parneros’s sudden termination.

Barnes & Noble is looking for its fifth CEO since 2010, angering investors


By Jenny Surane and Matt Townsend - Jul 9th, 09:02

Barnes & Noble is starting a search for its fifth CEO since 2010 following Demos Parneros’s sudden termination, irking investors looking for a steady comeback strategy in the age of Amazon. 

The embattled bookseller fired Parneros after only about 14 months on the job, citing a violation of company policies, according to a statement.. It declined to specify further other than to say it wasn’t "due to any disagreement with the company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud."

"This news certainly reads like it is related to personal conduct. But there is a story here about consistency of leadership," Consumer Edge Research analyst David Schick said in a July 4 note. Given the pressures on the business, including Amazon’s continued encroachment, the company "needs consistency at the helm".

Shares fell as much as 3.3% in last week's trading in New York. They were already down 10% this year.

For years, Barnes & Noble has fought an uphill battle as shoppers flocked to online outlets — especially Amazon, which got its start specialising as an online bookseller. Its chain of bricks-and-mortar stores was plagued by sluggish sales and the slow adoption of its Nook e-reader. Still, Parneros had been plotting a turnaround, including a push to revamp the chain’s toy and gift business as the world’s biggest toy chain, Toys R Us, closes its doors.

While the bookseller searches for a new CEO, it’s appointed a leadership group to share executive duties until a new chief is named.

"This is another setback for a company that has had four CEOs in five years," said Liz Dunn, CEO of Pro4ma and operating partner at the retail advisory Consumer Growth Partners. "Financial performance has continued to deteriorate but Parneros had hired key talent and was rolling out several strategic initiatives. The announcement puts these initiatives at risk."

While the reasoning for his departure is unknown, the company’s move to withhold severance could indicate a violation of conduct policies, she said. "In today’s climate, executive behaviour is under more scrutiny," Dunn said.

Parneros did not reply to a request for comment. The company declined to comment beyond the statement.
Business Live 

Related News

Aldi opens a record number of stores in one day
07/12/2018 - 09:45
Aldi UK has opened a record eight stores on a single day as part of a tranche of 24 new outlets that are opening throughout November and December.

Business confidence remains flat
06/12/2018 - 13:28
Business confidence remained flat in November.

SA grocery retailers hoping for a merry festive season
06/12/2018 - 08:18
Grocery retailers have had a tough year, and like other retailers are hoping to see a boost in sales over the festive season.

New age consumerism and the consumer power-shift
05/12/2018 - 10:37
Advances in telecommunication technology have transformed the tools used for marketing and consumerism and ultimately, the way that businesses operate. The Statista 2017 Report indicated that the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to have reached 224.3 million, with smartphone users worldwide exceeding 2 billion. Undoubtedly, we are running headlong into the end of the industrial era of consumption and into a consumer power-shift.

Driving mobile and card acceptance among informal retailers holds the key to scaling cashless payments in SA
05/12/2018 - 09:57
Despite the majority (77 percent) of adult South Africans owning bank accounts, more than half of the total value of all consumer transactions in the country are still conducted in cash. This suggests that being formally banked may not be enough of an incentive for consumers to move away from cash. Accelerating the pace of migration from cash to digital and card payments must be a priority for catalysing economic growth.