After a tumultuous — read: really bad — summer for Barnes & Noble, the company’s annual shareholder meeting took place Tuesday at the company’s flagship store in New York City.
I wasn’t there, but Publishers Weekly was and got a bunch of good takeaway quotes. Gregory Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media — which holds about 17 percent of the company’s stock — told investors, “Look, no one is happy with Nook, we know we need a new e-reader strategy but it’s not easy when you look at [the competitors] we’re up against.”
Barnes & Noble chairman and founder Leonard Riggio addressed investors, though, saying the company is “open to the idea” of paying a dividend to shareholders. He also responded to questions about why the company decided not to sell off the ailing Nook business. It still sounds as if a buyer — presumed to be Microsoft, which has a $300 million strategic investment in the company — declined to move forward: Riggio said, “Everything is on the table; we’re looking at all the doors. How we proceed depends on the opportunities we encounter.”
Riggio also got fed up with questions about why he decided not to buy Barnes & Noble retail stores and take them private: “I don’t want to buy retail and I don’t have to say why.”