Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) said on Wednesday that Michael Huseby, the head of its digital division, has been named chief executive, effective immediately. The position had been vacant for about six months after William Lynch resigned as the company's CEO in July.
Huseby has risen quickly through the ranks at Barnes & Noble since joining the company less than two years ago. He started at the bookseller in March 2012 as chief financial officer, and was promoted to president in July 2013. Prior to joining Barnes & Noble, Huseby served as EVP and CFO of Cablevision Systems Corporation. He spent seven years at Cablevision and prior to that held positions at Charter Communications, Inc., and AT&T Broadband. He also spent 23 years at Arthur Andersen as a global equity partner.
Huseby will also serve on the company's board and oversee the 673-store retail group led by CEO Mitchell Klipper and the 695-store college group led by CEO Max Roberts.
"Since the day he joined the company, Mike has proven to be an excellent financial and business executive, whose leadership skills have earned the respect of the entire organization, as well as our board of directors," said Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble, in a statement. "Although a relative newcomer to the retail book business, he has quickly developed a comprehensive understanding of the unique opportunities and challenges the company faces, and he has a vision for the future in which I am in complete accord."
Lynch's departure in July was an uneasy one, as the company did not provide a reason for his swift departure. Lynch abruptly left the company in the wake of news that quarterly losses at the bookseller's Nook digital business had more than doubled. At that time, Barnes & Noble also announced that it would stop manufacturing Nook hardware itself and rely on third-party hardware partnerships to create Nook products.
In November, Barnes & Noble reported a turnaround to profit in the second quarter as lower sales were offset by a decline in expenses and improved margins.
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