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Barnes & Noble makes small -- or big? -- exec changes

January 21, 2011 |  9:57 am

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Barnes & Noble on Wednesday dismissed several executives, including its director of merchandising. Mary Ellen Keating, a spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble, told the New York Times that the number of those departing was "small."

"We made a small number of organizational changes this week that are designed to better align our resources with our business," Keating continued. "Barnes & Noble is a growing company with both our revenues and our new hires growing faster than they have in years."

Although Barnes & Noble has not officially confirmed the names of those who will be leaving, Publishers Weekly reports that among those dismissed are VP of merchandising Bob Wietrak, director of small press and vendor relations Marcella Smith, cookbook buyer Lee Stern and other buyers. The trade magazine writes, "Publishers were shook by the news with the larger publishers wondering who would oversee merchandising, while smaller presses questioned who would be looking out for their interests."

Publishers were taken by surprise by Barnes & Noble's recent layoffs. Perhaps there are more surprises ahead.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: A Barnes & Noble bookstore in Washington, D.C. Credit: Shawn Thew / EPA

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