Barnes & Noble just unceremoniously ousted Ronald Boire as CEO, saying that the board has deemed him “not a good fit for the organization and that it was in the best interests of all parties for him to leave the Company.”
Executive Chairman Leonard Riggio will put off his planned retirement next month and, with other managers, “assume Mr. Boire’s duties.” Meanwhile the board will “immediately begin an executive search for a new CEO.”
Boire held the top job a little less than a year; he took charge last September 8 after the No. 1 bricks-and-mortar bookseller wooed him from the top job at Sears Canada. He replaced Michael Huseby, who lasted a year and a half as CEO before he agreed to become executive chairman of Barnes & Noble Education, which was spun off.
Boire told investors in June that retail bookselling had become a mature business that has “undergone significant transformation over the past six years” as digital competitors led by Amazon became more potent.
He vowed to “make our stores more experiential and differentiated. Our stores as a destination and centers of the community is at our core.”
He also promised to cut B&N’s losses from its Nook e-readers, which have been overwhelmed by the success of Amazon’s Kindle platform. While cutting expenses, the chain looked for new ways to integrate it with self-publishing and audio books. The company warned that Nook could lose as much as $40 million in 2017, dropping to about $10 million in 2018 .
B&N’s stock price plunged shortly before he arrived, and since then have depreciated nearly 15.6%.