Barnes & Noble’s Nook business is sinking, and CEO William Lynch is abandoning ship.

The company announced Monday night that Lynch is stepping down immediately after three years in the top spot.

The move is largely unsurprising. When Lynch stepped up in 2010, his job was to help Barnes & Noble navigate the rough transition to the digital world. That was easier said than done, however: While the Nook is well made, it has always struggled against Amazon’s Kindle, which has had both the brand recognition and content ecosystem that Barnes & Noble never quite managed to replicate.

The Nook reached a new low two weeks ago when Barnes & Noble announced that it was killing sales of its color Nook tablets. Instead of making the devices itself, the company plans to partner up with third-party manufacturers (which we took to mean Microsoft).

While Barnes & Noble has not named Lynch’s immediate successor, the company did say that CFO Michael Huseby would become CEO of Nook Media and president of Barnes & Noble.

As far as the company’s other plans go, it says it’s “reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate.”


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