Barnes & Noble fires CEO Demos Parneros for violating company policies

From CNBC:

Barnes & Noble said Tuesday that it has fired CEO Demos Parneros for violating company policies.

The company did not specify exactly which policies were violated. It did say, however, that Parneros’ termination “is not due to any disagreement with the Company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto.”

Parneros will not receive any severance and is no longer a director on its board, the company said in its statement. Barnes & Noble said it fired Parneros under the advice of its law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Barnes & Noble said it will begin its search for a new CEO and that it has tapped a group of leaders to run the company in the interim. That group includes chief financial officer Allen Lindstrom, chief merchandising officer Tim Mantel and vice president of stores Carl Hauch.

. . . .

Parneros joined the company in 2016 and was named CEO in 2017. He was previously president of Staples’ North American stores and online.

In 2016, Barnes & Noble also dismissed Parneros’ predecessor, Ronald Boire.

. . . .

Under Parneros’ tenure, Barnes & Noble shares shed 32 percent.

Link to the rest at CNBC

PG wonders which policy Paneros violated.

Maybe he suggested that it was stupid to continue paying big dividends to Len Riggio when the company was bleeding red ink.

21 thoughts on “Barnes & Noble fires CEO Demos Parneros for violating company policies”

  1. Not performing a miracle runs counter to company policy.

    They might need to hire Valentine Michael Smith to get where they dream of being.

    • Yeah, my money’s on sexual harassment or even assault. It’s so bad they could take his severance, yet it isn’t fraud.

    • Yeah, that’s what I think too. Something bad enough that not only did they yank his golden parachute, they got him out the door so fast his head must have spun. For the sake of whatever reputation B&N has left, they didn’t want him in the driver’s seat when the news broke, whatever it was. Might be worth setting a Google News alert on “Demos Parneros” so as to see what it is whenever it does come out.

      • But why miss the opportunity for virtue signalling?

        He wasn’t around long enough to impact corporate culture so whatever he did wouldn’t have spread far.

        Me, I’m thinking the opposite; it was something relatively minor and not legally actionable but since he was due to be fired for not performing miracles (and it’s that time of the year, anyway) they took advantage of it to save the severance money. They need it for the dividends.

        • Nah. None of B&N’s previous execs performed miracles either, but the previous two still got $15 million in severance between them at a time when B&N was laying off nearly two thousand experienced workers ostensibly to save money. They don’t strip your severance simply for not performing miracles.

          With this, plus the involvement of lawyers, and the close-mouthed “company policy” bit (not wanting to open themselves to suits for slander/libel, no doubt), this has to be seriously reputation-besmirching.

          • B&N had more money back then.

            Today they’re getting closer to the end of their credit line. They might be feeling a need to keep the extra fifteen million or whatever the parachute value was. The guy was making north of $3m so dividing his duties among three already on the payroll is an extra $3M into the dividend kitty. 🙂

            Remember, this is B&N.
            They haven’t been exactly an example of rational management all decade long. Just when you think they’ve hit rock bottom, they go subterranean. By now, nothing is beneath them.

        • Time will tell.

          But this isn’t some minor infraction; the panicky B&N public statements and explicit references to “on their lawyers’ advice” say otherwise.

          It’s obviously an attempt at damage control in theface of pending lawsuit or lawsuits plural.

          • Yup.
            Time will tell.

            They’re not following the now-standard script for employer immunity in the #metoo cases so if that is what’s going on, they’ve only made the mess bigger because everybody is wondering what’s going on instead of dumping on Parneros.

            That much is typical B&N.

  2. ” Parneros won’t receive severance pay and has been booted from his board seat as well.”

    That’s pretty severe for filling out your expense report wrong. I would go with #METOO as well, although I wouldn’t take “said the wrong thing to Riggio” off the table.

    • That was the biggest clue — not only that they are yanking severance and board seat, but also that they felt compelled — on the stated advice of their lawyers, no less — to make a big public deal out of loudly announcing that they are doing so.

      That’s scrambling to duck and cover before incoming lawsuits.

      But I’m not a lawyer, so just speculating here…

    • other possibilites:

      he was shorting B&N stock.

      he took the “fiduciary responsibility” thing seriously and independently sought out corporate bankruptcy advice.

      • Harassment or insider trading, them’s my guesses. And the above posters are spot-on when they claim this is circling the legal wagons and ducking under the wagon beds for cover.

  3. Next CEO might as well ask for severance in advance and fire himself up as he introduces his self to the board.

    Take care.

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