Barnes & Noble
In a separate segment of retail, it’s not fun to be at the helm of a bookseller in a digital age, and while William Lynch has done a decent job at Barnes & Noble (BKS) since 2010, there’s just nowhere left to go for this company.
Lynch made a decent run at e-books with the Nook reader from Barnes and Noble. The device got a second life a year ago, when Microsoft invested $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s digital business, but it has been downhill since. Now B&N has slashed prices on existing inventory and is looking to discontinue its tablet business.
What’s left is a company that continues to bleed red ink and see revenue decline … but oddly, those challenges aren’t enough to sink Barnes & Noble anytime soon, thanks to fairly lean operations and decent online sales. Eventually, there’s going to have to be someone else at the helm here as Lynch either bears the brunt of the pain or simply decides it’s time to move on.
But who the heck would want that job?