Biggest Bookstore Chain Fires CEO Right Before July Fourth

Thomas Phippen | Reporter

Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the country, fired its CEO, Demos Parneros, without severance late Tuesday afternoon for violating company policies.

The company said in a statement that Parneros was not fired “due to any disagreement with the [company] regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud.”

It is “in the best interests of all parties for him to leave the company,” the company said without giving any more detail about the “violations of the company’s policies” that precipitated the termination.

Parneros had only been CEO since April 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal and had joined Barnes & Noble as chief operating officer in 2016. (RELATED: 74-Year-Old Man Arrested For Destroying Kim Kardashian Selfie Books At Barnes & Noble)

The previous CEO, Ronald D. Boire, departed the company after less than a year in the job. At the time, the company said “the board of directors determined that Mr. Boire is not a good fit for the organization and that it was in the best interest of all parties for him to leave the company.”

Brick and mortar bookstores have seen steady decline in recent years, and Barnes & Noble has survived only closing around 10 percent of its stores since 2011. Online retailers like Amazon have gained much of the market share of physical book sales, and the steady decline of mall spaces, where Barnes & Noble would frequently have stores, has further damaged sales.

Retail sales in 2018 declined at 5.5 percent in 2018, a slightly slower rate than in 2017, according to a June 21 earnings call.

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