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Barnes & Noble, fighting with the former C.E.O., says he was released for sexual harassment



Barnes & Noble's share price has fallen 60 percent in the past three years, and the chain has difficulty reversing the years of declining sales and pedestrian flows. In the last decade, the company has closed more than 150 stores, so it has a base of 633. It struggled with Amazon and lost more than a billion dollars for its Nook e-book business.

Even as independent bookstores have rebounded, and Amazon has spread into stationary trading, Barnes & Noble has still found no bottom.

But Mr. Parneros said he was praised by Mr Riggio, the Barnes & Noble Board, investors and publishers as he helped fill empty executive roles and introduce new store prototypes and sales categories.

In November, activist investor Sandell Asset Management offered to buy the chain, an overture that Barnes & Noble declined. In the spring, a bookseller made an offer that Barnes & Noble also rejected, according to Mr. Parneros.

In June, after doing the due diligence, the bookseller withdrew his bid, leaving Mr. Riggio "extremely angry" because "he no longer had a graceful exit from the firm," according to Mr. Parneros.

At this point, Mr. Riggio turned against Mr. Parneros, ceasing to return his phone calls and texts and fabricated reasons to remove him, according to the lawsuit. "On July 2, Mr. Parneros was dismissed without the severance pay Millions of dollars that his predecessors had received.

In a July press release announcing his departure, Barnes & Noble said that Mr. Parneros had violated corporate policy, a move from which he said the company knew it would Speculation leads him to engage in sexual misconduct.


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