What You Need to Know

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) - Get Barnes & Noble, Inc. Report said late Wednesday it had terminated its CEO, Demos Parneros, for unspecified violations of the company's policies.

The struggling brick-and-mortar bookseller said in a statement that the termination was "not due to any disagreement with the Company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto."

Parneros, who was named CEO in April 2017, won't receive any severance and is no longer a member of the board, according to the statement.

Barnes and Noble, which operates 630 stores, has suffered nine consecutive quarters of same-store sales declines. The company was an activist shareholder target last year.

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The company named a leadership group -- Allen Lindstrom, chief financial officer, Tim Mantel, chief merchandising officer and Carl Hauch, vice president, stores -- to share the duties of the CEO until a new leader is named. Barnes and Noble founder Leonard Riggio, who still owns 11.8% of the company and is its executive chairman, will be involved in its management as well.

Christopher Versace, chief investment officer of Tematica Research and co-portfolio manager for TheStreet's Trifecta Stocks and Stocks Under $10 premium services, said he wasn't surprised at the ouster. "It's not surprising that the board would want to pivot," Versace said. "Look at the chart and stock price ... The long-term trendline is down."

Versace detailed why he thinks the company's 9.5% dividend is at risk in a piece for TheStreet's Income Seeker service. 

In the statement announcing Paneros' termination, Barnes & Noble said it "affirms its previously announced EBITDA guidance of $175 million to $200 million for fiscal 2019."

Barnes & Noble: At a Glance

  • 9 straight quarters of same-store sales declines. 
  • Founder Leonard Riggio (also board chairman) still owns 11.8% of the company.
  • CEO that just got fired is also a board member at Keycorp (KEY) - Get KeyCorp (KEY) Report and Modell's Sporting Goods.
  • 630 stores in operation as of most recent quarter.