Fork in the Road for Barnes & Noble
William Lynch was brimming with the enthusiasm of a start-up entrepreneur. It was January 2012, and Lynch, Barnes & Noble’s chief executive, was showing off the company’s shiny Palo Alto, CA, offices, a 300-person outpost that was the center of its e-reader operations.
“We’re a technology company, believe it or not,” Mr. Lynch said.
But only 16 months later, Barnes & Noble’s digital plans are crumbling. Last month, a disastrous earnings report coincided with the company’s announcement that it would no longer manufacture color tablets. And on Monday, Barnes & Noble announced that Lynch, the young, tech-savvy architect of the company’s digital