Barnes & Noble has reached an agreement with its former CEO Ron Boire to pay him $4,825,600 to settle all issues related to his dismissal in August after just one year on the job.
In exchange for the payment, Boire agreed to forfeit all stock awards that included 368,098 shares he was granted last September when he became CEO; 143,540 restricted stock units; and another 143,540 performance-based shares.
As part of the settlement, B&N agreed to include the following statement in its filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that disclosed the terms of the agreement: "The Company regrets that things did not work out for the longer term between Mr. Boire and the Company. The Company appreciates Mr. Boire’s efforts on behalf of the Company, and the Company wishes Mr. Boire the best going forward.”
B&N dismissed Boire, the former head of Sears Canada, less than a year after he officially took over as CEO. At the time of Boire’s departure, B&N had little comment on the reason for his termination. In later weeks, however, the book chain's executives offered some hints on the reason for Boire's abrupt departure.
Len Riggio, B&N's founder, who delayed his retirement from the company to return as CEO, said recently on a call discussing the chain's disappointing first quarter results that the company had "[shot itself] in the foot somewhat by making unprecedented inventory reductions.” He added that B&N was also hurt by “cutting expenses in the worst areas, mainly retail floor personnel. These conditions are being remedied as we speak.”
B&N is conducting a search for a new CEO, but Riggio said the company will not rush to pick a new chief and will look for an executive with some understanding of specialty retailing rather than a person with just a broad retail background.