Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Jamie Iannone, who had overseen the bookseller’s Nook devices and e-books business, will guide Sam's Club’s e-commerce efforts. The warehouse club’s e-commerce efforts previously operated separately.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has hired Barnes & Noble Inc. executive Jamie Iannone as SamsClub.com president and CEO. He’ll oversee online operations for the retailer’s Sam’s Club warehouse division and will report to Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s global e-commerce division and to Rosalind Brewer, Sam’s Club president and CEO.
The move comes a week after Wal-Mart announced it was moving Sam’s Club’s e-commerce operations under the umbrella of its broader global e-commerce unit. The warehouse club’s e-commerce efforts previously operated separately out of the retailer’s Bentonville, AR, headquarters, whereas Walmart.com and the @WalMartLabs digital development group is based in San Bruno, CA. Wal-Mart has more than 1,500 employees working on its e-commerce team in San Bruno and other offices in Silicon Valley.
Iannone, who had worked at Barnes & Noble since 2009, had held a number of positions at the multichannel retailer. Most recently, he was president of digital products at the bookseller’s Nook Media division, where he oversaw its Nook devices and e-books business. Prior to Barnes & Noble, he spent seven years at eBay Inc. during which time he held several positions, including vice president of global search, Wal-Mart says.
“Jamie brings a deep background and expertise as an e-commerce leader and we are confident he will help grow the SamsClub.com business,” Ashe and Brewer wrote in a memo distributed to staff.
Iannone’s move to Wal-Mart comes less than a week after Barnes & Noble reported that sales of Nook devices, accessories and digital content declined by 60.5% year over year in the nine weeks ending on Dec. 28. The retailer’s e-commerce and bookstore sales also fell during the same period. Barnes & Noble’s ongoing struggles led its CEO William Lynch to resign last year.
Wal-Mart is No. 4 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide and Barnes & Noble is No. 27.