Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch resigns

William Lynch, B&N CEO

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch has resigned, the struggling company announced after the market closed Monday. Lynch, who was appointed CEO in 2010, oversaw the brief rise and hasty decline of the company’s Nook business.

Barnes & Noble is not appointing a new CEO to oversee the entire company; instead, the retail and digital sides will be managed separately. Michael Huseby, who was the company’s CFO, replaces Lynch as CEO of Nook Media and president of Barnes & Noble. Mitchell Klipper remains CEO of Barnes & Noble’s retail division. Huseby and Klipper will report to Barnes & Noble’s executive chairman and largest stockholder, Leonard Riggio.

Max Roberts, CEO of Barnes & Noble’s college division, will report to Huseby. Allen Lindstrom, the company’s corporate controller, has been promoted to CFO to replace Huseby.

“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,” Riggio said in a statement. In addition, according to the release, “Mr. Riggio added that the company is in the process of reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate.”

Barnes & Noble spun off the Nook business and B&N college stores into a separate division called Nook Media last year, with a $300 million investment from Microsoft. But the company’s revenues have continued to fall, dragged down largely by the poor performance of Nook. Barnes & Noble announced in its most recent earnings report that it will stop making Nook tablets in-house, though it will continue to develop e-readers.

Lynch was promoted to CEO of Barnes & Noble in 2010. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he was president of Before his time at the company, he held executive roles at, IAC’s and Palm.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as CEO of this terrific Company over the last three years,” Lynch said in a statement. “There is a great executive team and board in place at Barnes & Noble, and I look forward to the many innovations the company will be bringing to its millions of physical and digital media customers in the future.”

Barnes & Noble stock was down around two percent in after-hours trading.

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