Barnes & Nobles fires CEO, says 'not a good fit'

Barnes & Noble board fires CEO Ronald D. Boire

Disruption to the retail bookselling business and a digital strategy that hasn't met expectations may have doomed Biore from the start.

What: Shares of retailer Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) are down 11.5% at 1:17 p.m. EDT on August 17, after the company issued a press release late on the 16th, announcing the departure of CEO Ronald Boire. Boire will leave the company after less than one year on the job, having taken over as CEO in September of 2015.

So what: Here's the statement from Barnes & Noble:

The Board of Directors determined that Mr. Boire was not a good fit for the organization and that it was in the best interests of all parties for him to leave the Company. The Company also said that its Executive Chairman, Leonard Riggio, who was scheduled to retire at the close of the Company's Annual Meeting on September 14, will postpone his retirement until a later date.

The Company will immediately begin an executive search for a new CEO. Mr. Riggio, along with other members of the executive management team, will assume Mr. Boire's duties. The Company will continue to execute on its previously announced strategic initiatives.

Now what: While sales were nearly flat over the past year, the pressure on the retail bookseller to reinvent itself isn't going away. There remains demand for printed books, but online competition will continue to weaken that business, while digital books continue to make the printed books pie less and less meaningful. Combined, it's hard to look into the future and see Barnes & Noble having a sustained path forward as the business exists today.

There are plans under way to reinvent the company, including testing new concepts, including restaurants with expanded menus, including beer & wine, in an effort to increase traffic and consumer interest. Maybe that works. Maybe not.

But here's the bottom line: The company has a core business that is being disrupted by online retail, just like nearly every retail business, and that business is built on selling a product that's also being disrupted by technology. And it just fired its CEO after less than one year.

There are few things to like about Barnes & Noble as an investment right now, and a lot of reasons things could only get worse from here.

Check out Glassdoor's ranking of top CEOs in 2016:

Glassdoor list of top 20 CEOs 2016
See Gallery
Glassdoor list of top 20 CEOs 2016

#19: Charles C. Butt

Photo credit: Getty

#18: Aron J. Ain
Kronos Incorporated

Photo credit: Getty

#17: Lynsi Snyder
In-N-Out Burger

Photo credit: Getty

#16: Alex Gorsky
Johnson & Johnson

Photo credit: Getty

#15: Jack Little
Mathworks Inc.

Photo credit: Getty

#14: Mark Weinberger
Ernst & Young LLP

Photo credit: Getty

#13: John Veihmeyer
KPMG International

Photo credit: Getty

#12: John Legere

Photo credit: Getty

#11: David S. Taylor
Procter & Gamble Co. 

Photo credit: Getty

#9: Joseph R. Sivewright
Nestlé Purina Petcare

Photo credit: Facebook

#8: Tim Cook 

Photo credit: Getty

#3: Dominic Barton
McKinsey & Company 

Photo credit: Getty

#2: Scott Scherr
Ultimate Software

Photo credit: Facebook

#1: Bob Bechek
Bain & Company

Photo credit: LinkedIn


A secret billion-dollar stock opportunity
The world's biggest tech company forgot to show you something, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn't miss a beat: There's a small company that's powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early, in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here.

Jason Hall has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Barnes and Noble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

More from The Motley Fool:
Costco Wholesale Corporation in 5 Charts
Polaris Looks to Costco to Help Rev Slingshot Sales
Better Buy: Whole Foods Market, Inc. vs. Costco

Read Full Story