Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
The moves come as the retailer plans to invest more in digital efforts.
Multichannel books retailer Barnes & Noble Inc. has announced a pair of e-commerce appointments. Jamie Iannone will take over as president of Barnes & Noble Digital Products, while John Foley has joined the retailer as president of Barnes & Noble eCommerce.
Iannone will oversee the retailer’s efforts to sell more Nook electronic reading devices, along with responsibility for electronic books and digital content. Foley will manage Barnes & Noble’s online retail business, including books, games, music and movies, and will oversee merchandising, online and search marketing. Both executives report to CEO William Lynch. Until March, Lynch had worked as president of BarnesandNoble.com.
“Jamie and John are terrific leaders who will take our already fast-growing online and digital businesses to the next level leveraging their strong personal track records for management excellence and successes in technology, e-commerce, merchandising and operations,” Lynch says.
Iannone joined the company a year ago as an executive vice president and led the retailer’s online business, electronic books and Nook software applications. He had supervised global search, merchandising and buyer experience for eBay Inc.
Foley worked as CEO of The Pronto Network, which includes comparison shopping site Pronto.com.
The appointments come as the retailer experiences larger gains from e-commerce. Barnes & Noble increased its e-commerce revenue 24% to $573 million in fiscal 2010 from $462 million in fiscal 2009. The retailer also says it plans to invest $140 million in digital initiatives in 2011; the company made the move after learning that more than 25% of consumers who own Nooks are new to BarnesandNoble.com and Nook buyers increased their online and offline spending by 17% after buying the e-book reader.
Shortly after announcing that investment plan earlier this summer, the retailer said it was considering putting the company up for sale, though Barnes & Noble offered no timetable.
Barnes & Noble is No. 42 in Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide.