Primary File

Barnes & Noble, Inc.: Another Executive Departure. Bad Behavior or Bad Management?

Marchiori, D. Schiffer, M., O’Rourke, J. (editor)
March 12, 2019
North America
Strategy & General Management, Human Resources & Organizational Behavior
15 pages
management, Behavior, Organizational Behavior, Business Strategy, firing
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

On July 3, 2018, bookseller Barnes & Noble released a statement saying that their CEO, Demos Parneros, was terminated, effective immediately, for “violating the company’s policies.” In this abrupt firing, Barnes & Noble did not specify the policies that were violated, but did mention that it was not related to any disagreement with the company regarding its financial performance. Suspicion quickly grew that Parneros was just the latest executive caught up in a #MeToo moment.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To highlight the effects of a company firing a Chief Executive Officer based on allegations of sexual misconduct and how that aligns with the company’s business strategy;
  2. To investigate the effects of societal pressures on a company’s communication about decisions regarding business strategy;
  3. To provide an illustration of how one company dealt with social pressures on its internal culture;
  4. To understand the motivation of an executive who believes he has been fired for unsubstantiated claims against his character.