Barnes & Noble hasn’t exactly been doing so hot lately – the traditional paper book market isn’t exactly been booming as of late (though Dan Brown’s new summer thriller, Inferno, has pumped a much needed injection of adrenaline in the sluggish market that hasn’t seen a major hit in some years), and the Nook department has been hemorrhaging money – and sales – at an alarming rate. It should come to no surprise then that Barnes & Noble has just announced a significant executive shakeup that sees CEO William Lynch resigning from the company effective immediately.

Furthermore, Michael P. Huseby has been promoted as the new “CEO of Nook Media” within Barnes & Noble, a position that puts him square in the middle of a major shakeup within the department. The company announced just earlier this month that they would no longer be manufacturing tablet devices in-house, instead delegating the task to unnamed outside sources. Mr. Huseby will also be serving as the president of the entirety of Barnes & Noble.

A recent report by research firm IDC indicates that in the last quarter alone sales of the Nook have gone down by a significant margin, from 1.4 million units sold to just 1 million units in the last quarter. Barnes & Noble and the rest of the traditional book industry has seen increased competition from the newer eBook market, most notably Amazon and their line of Kindle devices. Apple has also seen significant success with their iBookstore eBook store, which is compatible with Apple’s iPod touch, iPad, iPhone, and soon Mac products. Apple’s senior vice president Eddie Cue recently claimed under oath in a recent court testimony that the iBookstore current accounts for about 25% of all eBook sales.

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Barnes & Noble announced a host of other changes, including the news that vice president Allen Lindstrom was being subsequently promoted to CFO of Barnes & Noble. Kanuj Malhotra meanwhile has been promoted to CFO of Nook Media.

Barnes & Noble is clearly in a position where it’s sink of swim now, and with the company on the edge of financial ruin, will Barnes & Noble – and therefor the entire print book industry – go the way of the Do-do bird? Is there still room in the market for traditional print media? Or will the much respected company meet the same fate of once longtime competitor Borders, which went out of business years ago now after failing to adjust a market so in flux? Let us know what you think in the comments!


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