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Barnes & Noble Shuffles Management

New York – Barnes & Noble has eliminated its top CEO slot and created a new one for its Nook Media division.

 Ousted was William Lynch, who formally resigned late yesterday as chief executive and from the bookseller’s board.

Filling the new Nook CEO post is former chief financial officer Michael Huseby, who was succeeded by VP and corporate controller Allen Lindstrom.

Huseby and Mitchell Klipper, CEO of Barnes & Noble’s retail group, will report directly to executive chairman Leonard Riggio. Max Roberts, CEO of the company’s college unit, will report to Huseby.

It is unclear whether a new company CEO will be named.

The management changes follow a dismal fourth-quarter earnings report that led to the chain’s decision to wind down its Nook hardware business and develop co-branded devices with vendors.

The management shuffle also further positions the company for a spin-off of its digital media unit from the core retail business, which Riggio has been looking to acquire.

“We thank William Lynch for helping transform Barnes & Noble into a leading digital content provider and for leading in the development of our award-winning line of Nook products,” Riggio said in a statement.  “As the bookselling industry continues to undergo significant transformation, we believe that Michael, Mitchell and Max are the right executives to lead us into the future.”

 Riggio added that the company is in the process of reviewing its current strategic plan and “will provide an update when appropriate.”