Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) announced today that current President Michael P. Huseby was also taking over the reins as CEO. Huseby was named president of Barnes & Noble back in July of last year. He joined the bookseller as Chief Financial Officer in March of 2012.
“I am excited and honored to have been chosen as CEO of one of America’s most beloved companies,” said Huseby. “I am pleased, as well, to be joining an organization which is driven by both a sense of mission, and by a commitment to achieve excellence in everything it pursues.”
Statement from Barnes & Noble
Leonard Riggio, Chairman of the Board at Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), released a statement praising Huseby. “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 Riggio. “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. Mike also has a passion for bookselling, which makes him a perfect fit for this job.”
Uncertain future for Barnes & Noble
Most analysts believe Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) faces an uphill battle to return to profits, given the long-term slump in paper book sales, the demise of the eReader and the apparent failure of the Nook tablet. Some even question the viability of the company over the medium-to-long-term given the scale of the recent losses in earnings and the structural issues to be overcome.
Other analysts, such as John Huber, suggest that Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is really an under-appreciated diamond in the rough, and is really worth $20 to $30 a share given the company’s strong brand name and strategic partnerships. He argues there is real value in B&N’s core businesses, currently under-appreciated value that is likely to be unlocked over the next year or two.