Another Amazon victim -- this time it's Barnes & Noble's CEO

William Lynch's departure, preceded by a losing battle pitting the Nook against Amazon's Kindle, puts more authority in the hands of the man who built up the bookseller chain as a traditional retailer.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble Chief Executive William Lynch has resigned, following the bookseller's long fight for a Nook tablet that rivals Amazon's Kindle.

It marks the departure of a tech-focused executive who rose to the company's helm from its online business, and puts more authority in the hands of Leonard Riggio, Barnes & Noble's chairman and biggest shareholder.

Through a wave of acquisitions, Riggio built the chain into the country's biggest bookseller, but the company has struggled to find its bearing as Amazon first undermined its traditional book business and then outgunned it on reading devices.

Barnes & Noble isn't searching for a CEO successor. Instead it is reviewing its strategy and will "update when appropriate." The heads of its Retail Group, college business, and Nook Media unit -- a position Michael P. Huseby will step out of the CFO role to take -- will all report to Riggio instead.

Barnes & Noble last month said it would pull out of color tablet design and production . Though it will to continue to design e-reading devices like the black-and-white Simple Touch, it will bring third-party manufacturers into a partnership for products like its Nook HD and Nook HD+.

That announcement came within a bleak quarterly report. Barnes & Noble's Nook sales fell 34 percent in the company's fourth quarter.

 

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