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Barnes & Noble names new CEO — its fourth in four years

BY Marianne Wilson

Barnes & Noble has ended its quest for a new chief executive with an in-house promotion.

The struggling bookseller named Demos Parneros as CEO, effective immediately. Parneros, who has served as COO of Barnes & Noble since November 2016, is a longtime Staples veteran. Prior to joining Barnes & Noble, he was president of North American stores & online for the office supply giant.

Parneros succeeds Leonard Riggio, the company’s founder and largest shareholder, who will remain chairman of the board. Riggio had been set to retire when he took the reins of the company in August 2016 when CEO Ronald D. Boire, who had been chief executive for less than a year, was fired.

“It has become abundantly clear over the last five months that Demos is a perfect fit for our company and an outstanding choice for chief executive officer,” said Riggio. “He is highly respected by our board of directors and our leadership team, and I believe Demos is fully prepared to help foster a new era of growth for Barnes & Noble.”

Parneros joined Staples in 1987 as a general manager and worked his way up through ranks, serving in a variety of management and executive positions. He has his work cut out for him at Barnes & Noble, which has struggled with declining sales amid online competition and steep losses in its digital products.

In its most recent quarter, the bookseller reported an 8% decline in sales, to $1.3 billion. Sales of digital content and devices fell plunged nearly 26%.

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