Barnes and Noble has fired most of their hardware engineering division last Thursday, according to one source. This follows Barnes & Noble dismissing the VP of Hardware, Bill Saperstein in January. The head of Nook Accessories, Jacqueline Corso, was also let go last week. It looks like B&N is initiating the Clean Sweep protocol, as new CEO Michael Huseby is likely appointing his own cabinet into the upper echelons of management.
The Barnes and Noble portfolio of e-Readers and Tablets have seen cumitive loses each financial quarter in 2013. The entire hardware division was down 32.2% on a year-over-year basis. Most of the Nook management team mentioned that the bookstore chain should just axe it. One of the last proclamations that former CEO William Lynch made, was that the company was getting out of hardware, only to flip flop and say they were going to continue to make e-readers.
Barnes and Noble is expanding on their Nook Study platform and the entire program is undergoing a revision. They have brought over Roger Bishoff, formerly of Microsoft, into the role of Engineering Manager. He will be spearheading the entire digital Nook Education endeavor. Likely, the College and University bookstore chain of B&N will promote the digital aspect as early as the Fall.
Many of the new hires for B&N educational unit are actually based in the Seattle area. They are actively seeking new candidates to work in Redmond, which is a firm indication that Microsoft might be playing a role in this whole program.
The vast majority of Barnes and Nobles programs are in serious jeopardy. Their App market has been relegated into obscurity with the inclusion of Google Play and their self-publishing platform, Nook Press has not made any announcements since it originally launched last year.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.