Just as Borders is preparing for complex negotiations with vendors and lenders, they will be doing so without the assistance of EVP, general counsel Thomas Carney, who has served as the bookseller’s top attorney since 1994. He resigned on Sunday, noted by Borders in a terse SEC filing after the close of the market yesterday. SVP, chief information officer Scott Laverty resigned as well, on Monday. Laverty joined the company in May 2009, charged with overseeing the “overall vision, strategic direction and tactical execution of all information technology systems and solutions.”
Spokesperson passes along the company’s statement: “As previously reported, we are taking a number of steps to improve our liquidity, part of which involves employing cost reduction initiatives and examining how to best structure our management team for our business. As part of this process, we have evaluated our leadership structure and, as a result, some positions have been eliminated, and some executives have left the company.” She declined to disclose the names and positions of any others leaving the company as part of this re-evaluation of their leadership, though an anonymous Borders employee on an online message board claims that “two regional vice presidents and three other vice presidents” were also leaving the company.
Ingram spokesman Keel Hunt says that the wholesaler is continuing to supply Borders with books, but declined to comment on the terms as a matter of policy. (The Ingram news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.) Ingram ceo Skip Prichard says in a statement, “Every company in our industry will make its own decisions based on what makes business sense. Most every publisher and distributor wants Borders to survive and thrive, and we are no exception. Ingram Content Group values our long standing business relationship with Borders Group. We wish them the very best during this challenging period and look forward to working with them.” A publishing executive indicated to us that in recent conversations with Ingram about Borders they were told that Ingram has credit insurance in place that protects them, but Hunt said they do not discuss details of financial arrangements pertaining to any customer.
Following the resignations of the two executives, the stock resumed its decline in after-market trading Monday evening and is down in regular trading this morning another by almost nine percent at under 90 cents a share on continued heavy volume.
On Monday night the NYT filed an odd catch-up article in which Borders spokesperson Davis is allowed to claim of this week’s publishers meeting with Borders executives, “We value our relationships with them, which is why we’re engaging in discussions with them. We’re committed to working with our vendors as part of our overall effort to refinance.” Isn’t talking to people you owe money and won’t pay about more than valuing relationships? Davis also asserted that “the company was not in a liquidity crisis and that its stores were well-stocked.”