Barnes & Noble hires a new CEO
July 2, 2015 12:49 PM
Barnes & Noble Inc. will start a new chapter in the fall with Ronald Boire as CEO of its retail business. The bookseller, No. 47 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, on Thursday announced Boire’s appointment, effective Sept. 8.
Boire currently is president, CEO and a board member with Sears Canada Inc. Previously he was executive vice president, chief merchandising officer and president of Sears and Kmart formats at Sears Holdings Corp., No. 5 in the Top 500 Guide. Boire also was president and CEO at Brookstone Inc. (No. 242), and was president, North America, at Toys R Us Inc. (No. 40) from 2006 through 2009.
“I believe Ron’s extensive experience throughout all facets of the retail industry, combined with his leadership ability and proven track record, make him an ideal chief executive for Barnes & Noble,” said Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc.
The hiring announcement comes shortly after the retail chain filed plans on its anticipated spinoff of campus bookstores. When the separation of the college and retail units is complete, current CEO Michael Huseby will become executive chairman of Barnes & Noble Education. Huseby, who was hired as chief financial officer in 2012 and promoted to CEO last year, was tasked with overseeing the company’s capital structure.
“Mike Huseby has done a superb job since he joined the company in 2012. Under his leadership we have improved the performance of all of our business segments and he has helped put the company in a position to separate the College and Retail businesses. Mike will now bring his financial and strategic leadership to the separate Barnes & Noble Education company,” Riggio said.
Barnes & Noble also promoted chief merchandising officer Jaime Carey to chief operating officer, effective immediately.
The bookseller last week launched a redesigned website and on June 25 reported that retail sales, which include both e-commerce and in-store sales, fell 10.4% during its fiscal fourth quarter ended May 2, and 4.4% in fiscal 2015. While Barnes & Noble does not break out online sales, it said declining online sales contributed to the revenue drops both during the quarter and the fiscal year. The Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide estimates that Barnes & Noble sold $1.04 billion online in 2014, a 25.9% decrease from the prior year. A big part of the decline came from plummeting sales of the retailer’s Nook reader and electronic books.