August 28, 2018
Barnes & Noble Aug. 28 issued a statement disclosing why it fired CEO Demos Parneros for cause on July 3 after 16 months on the job.
In a statement from the bookseller’s board in response to a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by Parneros, the company said the suit was “nothing but an attempt to extort money by a CEO who was terminated for sexual harassment, bullying behavior and [violating] other company policies.”
The board said that after advisement from its lawyers, it “unanimously terminated” Parneros’ employment in July following a “thorough investigation” that revealed “multiple examples” of significant misconduct.
“Mr. Parneros not only violated his employment agreement, but also compromised the trust and respect that we strive to foster throughout our organization,” said the board. “Instead of accepting responsibility for blatantly inappropriate behavior, [Parneros] is lashing out against a former employer.”
In his complaint, Parneros alleges he was to meet with B&N chairman and founder Leonard Riggio about selling the company the day before he was fired. Instead of discussing a possible sale of the fiscally-challenged retailer, Parneros says Riggio told him he was being fired.
Parneros denies any wrongdoing.
Barnes & Noble, in its statement, made no mention of a possible sale. Instead, it reiterated that Parneros’ actions were unacceptable and not representative of the “high standards” by which Barnes & Noble operates.
“At Barnes & Noble, we are committed to providing an inclusive, welcoming, respectful and safe workplace,” said the board.