Barnes & Noble Founder Leonard Riggio Announces Retirement


Leonard Riggio, Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble, announced he will be retiring in September 2016 following the company’s annual shareholder meeting. He plans to stay on Barnes & Noble’s Board of Directors, while continuing his philanthropic and social efforts.

Upon his retirement, Paul B. Guenther will serve as non-executive Chairman, and Barnes & Noble CEO Ron Boire will report to the Board of Directors.

Riggio started Barnes & Noble with a single college bookstore in 1965 and turned it into one of the largest retail organizations in America. He also founded Barnes & Noble College Bookstores in the U.S. and video game retailer GameStop. His enterprises operate more than 8,000 stores and employ more than 100,000 people.


“I’ve done everything I have wanted to do in business and now it is time for me to pursue the many other endeavors related to my philanthropic and social interests,” said Riggio in a statement. “I intend to remain a shareholder of Barnes & Noble for years to come. I have complete confidence in the management team and their ability to take this company to the next level of bookselling, and I have every intention of offering my help and support.”

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