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Bloomberg has an excellent piece about James Daunt, charged with returning Barnes & Noble to profitability and relevance.

Some context from the story:

"Daunt has opened about 60 bookshops in his three-decade career, every one of them profitable, making him one of the Amazon era’s most successful booksellers. After founding Daunt Books, a popular, independent brand of stores in the U.K., he was credited with saving the country’s largest chain, Waterstones, from ruin by giving managers more agency over their inventory. Those credentials impressed Elliott Management Corp., a notorious $40 billion hedge fund better known for seizing an Argentine warship as collateral and berating corporate governance at Twitter Inc. and AT&T Inc. It acquired Barnes & Noble Inc. last year for $683 million including debt and appointed 56-year-old Daunt chief executive officer, the man in charge of its rescue."

Daunt tells Bloomberg that he believes he is "answering a higher calling."

“There aren’t remotely enough independents to maintain our industry. Publishers won’t keep that infrastructure going, it will become a world completely dominated by Amazon, and the traditional bookshop will disappear,” he says.

The irony, of course, is that he now is faced with the challenge of saving a big box store chain that once would've been classified as the enemy.

You can read the story here.