Barnes & Noble

Joele Frank is working with Barnes & Noble in the bookseller’s nasty squabble with former CEO Demos Parneros, who was fired in July after 15 months at the helm.

The ousted CEO fired back at B&N by filing a federal suit in Manhattan on Aug. 28, charging the bookseller breached his employment contract by denying severance and claiming misconduct, which Parneros denies.

The suit contends that Paneros, who joined B&N in April 2017, was making progress at improving the company's perfromance and was canned because a deal to sell B&N fell through.

New York-based B&N released a Aug. 28 response to Parneros’ suit, saying it is nothing more than “an attempt to extort money from the company by a CEO who was terminated for sexual harassment, bullying behavior and other violations of company policies after being in the role for approximately one year.”

It also says Parneros’ charge that B&N founder Leonard Reggio is “volatile and out of control” is “replete with lies and mischaracterizations.”

B&N suffered a $125.5M loss for fiscal 2018 (ended April 28) compared to a year earlier profit of $22M. Revenues for fiscal 2018 dipped six percent to $3.6B. Fiscal 2019 first-quarter financials will be released Sept. 6.

Joele Frank, Wilkinson, Brimmer Katcher has Kelly Sullivan, Jamie Moser and Tanner Kaufman working on the legal battle.

They are assisting B-N’s Mary Ellen Keating (senior VP-corporate communications) and Andy Milevoj (VP-investor relations & corporate finance) in the Parneros matter.