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Barnes & Noble names Sears Canada CEO Ronald Boire to lead retail business after split

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NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble, which is splitting into two companies next month, named Sears Canada CEO Ronald Boire to lead its retail operations and said company CEO Michael Huseby will become executive chairman of its educational wing.

Boire will join the company in September as CEO of Barnes & Noble Inc., overseeing its nearly 650 stores and its Nook e-book business.

Max Roberts, the CEO of the college textbook business, will continue in that role after the unit is spun off into the publicly traded Barnes & Noble Education Inc., which operates more than 720 stores at colleges and universities around the country.

Before becoming CEO of Sears Canada, Boire held leadership positions at Brookstone, Toys R Us and Best Buy Inc.

Barnes & Noble first said it would break the company apart in February, after scrapping plans to spin off its digital Nook business.

The company has been grappling with falling sales of the Nook and e-books, as well as in its bookstores. Competition from Amazon.com and elsewhere had upended the book industry, much as Barnes & Noble did when it grew to a national chain.

Barnes & Noble reported a 10 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue last week.

Shares of Barnes & Noble, based in New York, rose 27 cents to $26.01 in late trading Thursday. Its shares are up about 14 percent in the past 12 months.

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