Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch Resigns

Lynch, the man who is credited for spearheading the book retailer's Nook e-reader, is out as CEO.

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch has resigned as CEO and director of the book retailer after three years, the company announced on Monday.

Michael Huseby, the company's chief financial officer, has been named CEO of Nook Media, LLC, the division of Barnes & Noble that oversees its Nook e-readers, as well as president of the company as a whole.

Lynch officially became CEO in March 2010, five months after the Nook debuted on the market as a more cost-friendly competitor to Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle. But the Nook is the hallmark of Lynch's tenure--it was Lynch who shepherded Barnes & Noble's entrance into Silicon Valley in 2008, with a massive Palo Alto property dedicated to developing the Nook devices, as well as software and cloud services.

In recent months, however, rumors have been swirling about whether or not the retailer will discontinue manufacturing the Nook, bolstered by evidence of disappointing sales, which dropped 34% in the company's last reported fiscal quarter. In June, Barnes & Noble announced it would no longer manufacture full-color Nooks, instead outsourcing them to third parties.

[Image: Flickr user buyalex]

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