Intends to Remain on Board of Directors
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Barnes & Noble Founder & Chairman, Leonard Riggio, today announced that
he will retire as Chairman of the Company following the annual
shareholder meeting currently planned for September, and intends to
remain on its Board of Directors. The Board has appointed Paul B.
Guenther to serve as non-executive Chairman upon Mr. Riggio stepping
down. Mr. Guenther, former President of Paine Webber Group, Inc., has
been a member of the Barnes & Noble Board since 2015 and serves as Chair
of the Audit Committee. The Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ron
Boire, will report to the Board of Directors.
“I’ve done everything I have wanted to do in business and now it is time
for me to pursue the many other endeavors related to my philanthropic
and social interests,” said Mr. Riggio.
Mr. Riggio went on to say, “I intend to remain a shareholder of Barnes &
Noble for years to come. I have complete confidence in the management
team and their ability to take this Company to the next level of
bookselling and I have every intention of offering my help and support.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with our Board of Directors and I
couldn’t be more pleased that Paul has stepped up to take on this new
Starting with a single college bookstore in 1965, Mr. Riggio built one
of the largest enterprises in the history of American retail. He has
become widely known as a visionary in the bookselling industry, and as a
brilliant marketer and entrepreneur. Over his lifetime, in addition to
building Barnes & Noble into one of the largest retail organizations in
America, Mr. Riggio also founded Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, one
of the largest contract operators of bookstores on college and
university campuses in the United States, and GameStop, the world’s
largest videogame retailer. In all, the enterprises he created operate
more than 8,000 stores and employ more than 100,000 people.
Mr. Riggio is also well known for his philanthropic work in the areas of
public education, civil and human rights, literacy and the arts. His
contributions include the building of Dia: Beacon, one of the largest
contemporary art museums in the world; the building and gifting of 170
homes to families who lost theirs in Hurricane Katrina; the building and
gifting of The Langston Hughes Library and The Riggio-Lynch Chapel on
the grounds of the Alex Haley Farm, in Clinton, Tennessee, the permanent
home for the Children’s Defense Fund “Leave No Child Behind®”
movement; the creation of the Writing & Democracy Program at the New
School in New York; numerous university fellowships, scholarship
programs to promote diversity in education, endowment funding of museums
and university programs, and funding for site- specific works by
In all, Mr. Riggio has served on nearly two dozen not-for-profit boards.
He has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Baruch College of
the City University of New York, Bentley College, Adelphi University,
Tusculum College and Long Island University. He has been inducted into
the Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs at Babson College and the
Texas A&M Retail Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the board of The
Fund for Public Schools of New York.
His commitment to promoting equality and diversity has earned Mr. Riggio
numerous awards including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the
Frederick Douglass Medallion. In 2002, he received the Americanism Award
from the Anti-Defamation League, its highest honor. The award cited his
work “to celebrate diversity and make the dream of freedom and equality
a reality for so many Americans.” In 2009, Mr. Riggio served as the
Chairman of the host committee for the 100th Anniversary
celebration of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights
Mr. Guenther currently serves as a Director of ZAIS Group Holdings, a
NASDAQ-listed investment company focusing on investments in specialized
credit strategies. He also serves as Director of Guardian Life
Insurance, a Fortune 250 financial services company and one of the
largest individual disability income insurance providers in the U.S. and
Chairman of Community & Southern Holdings, a community bank with over $3
billion assets. Mr. Guenther serves as the Chairman of the executive
committee at Lenox Hill Hospital and serves as a Director of Fordham
University, where he previously served as Chairman of the Board. Mr.
Guenther has served as Chairman of the New York Philharmonic and is the
former director of the Securities Industry Association and a former
President and Director of Columbia’s Graduate School of Business Alumni
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is a Fortune 500 company, the nation’s
largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital
media and educational products. The Company operates 640 Barnes & Noble
bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites,
The Nook Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK®
tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and
entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store
features more than 4 million digital books in the US (www.nook.com),
plus periodicals and comics, and offers the ability to enjoy content
across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™
available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting
the Company’s corporate website at www.barnesandnobleinc.com.
Barnes & Noble®, Barnes & Noble Booksellers®,
Barnes & Noble.com® and Discover Great New Writers®
are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. or its affiliates. NOOK®
and the NOOK logos are trademarks of Nook Digital, LLC or its affiliates.
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Ellen Keating, 212-633-3323
Senior Vice President
Vice President, Investor Relations