More bad news from Borders: the New Year's weekend executive suite purge that claimed Thomas Carney, the longtime legal counsel, and Scott Laverty, the chief information officer, also includes Tony Grant, v-p of real estate, Bill Dandy, senior v-p, marketing, and Larry Norton, senior v-p for business development and publisher relations, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Norton, who joined the company in August 2009 as senior v-p, merchandising and distribution, was one of only a handful of people in Borders's top ranks with book world experience--for many years, he held sales positions at Simon & Schuster and William Morrow.
The Journal also reported that Borders will ask publishers today "to push back the due dates on bills as it works out a refinancing plan." One Borders supplier said that the retailer had halted payment on a check for books shipped in October.
Borders may be asking publishers to take interest-bearing debt, the New York Times said. "Several publishers said Borders owed them millions of dollars in payments, up to tens of millions each for the larger publishers," the paper continued. "Publishers said they had been told by Borders executives that more than two dozen vendors were owed money."
Yesterday Barnes & Noble objected to any potential special arrangements between Borders and publishers, saying via a statement, "We think the playing field should be even. We expect publishers to offer the same terms to all other booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and independent booksellers."
*From an article in today's Shelf Talker