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Fresh faces for Barnes & Noble Education board

Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Barnes & Noble Education, the provider of educational products and services for higher education and K12, has appointed three new independent directors.

Mario Dell’Aera Jr was senior audit partner and chief operating officer of US audit Operations at KPMG from 2019 until his retirement in 2021, managing 16 business units encompassing more than 9,000 partners and professionals and a $3 billion operating plan. He has nearly 40 years of accounting experience serving large, global public and private companies in the information, communications and entertainment industries. From 2012 to 2019, was senior audit partner for KPMG’s financial services audit practice, comprising banking, capital markets, insurance, asset management and real estate companies. In addition to his deep audit and operational expertise.

Kate Eberle Walker is chief executive and board chair of Presence Learnings, a provider of special education teletherapy solutions. She has more than 20 years’ experience leading education organisations and of human capital management, finance, M&A and strategy development. From 2015 to 2017, was chief executive of The Princeton Review and Tutor.com, and chief financial officer and chief strategy officer from 2014 to 2015. Walker began her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. She is a director of Babbel, Testing Mom and Prospect Schools, and a trustee of the International School of Brooklyn. She was on the board of Rosetta Stone from 2019 until the company’s acquisition by Cambium Learning Group in 2020.

Denise Warren is the founder and chief executive of Netlyst, a consulting and advisory practice focused on digital business growth and scaling consumer and enterprise recurring revenue streams. She has public company board experience in the media and publishing sector, and of digital change in marketing, product and sales. Before founding Netlyst, Warren was president of digital and cchief executive of East Coast Publishing for Tribune Publishing from 2015 to 2016. For more than 25 years, she worked in numerous roles at The New York Times Company: as executive vice-president of digital products and services, general manager of nytimes.com, chief advertising officer, senior vice-president of strategic planning, and director of marketing. Warren is an independent director of Taylor Morrison Home Corporation and was previously a director and chair of the nominating and governance committee of Monotype Imaging, and a director of Electronic Arts.

Barnes & Noble Education also appointed Rory Wallace, chief investment officer of Outerbridge Capital Management, to the board as an independent director as part of its renewed cooperation agreement with Outerbridge.

In addition, Lowell W Robinson and Zachary Levenick have stepped down from the board.

Vice Admiral John R Ryan, chairman of Barnes & Noble Education, said: “The appointments of Mario, Kate and Denise are the culmination of a comprehensive search process and marks significant progress on our commitment to refresh the board with additional skills, experience and diversity. Each of these directors bring significant and highly relevant experience, providing additional financial, operational and industry expertise to enhance the execution of our strategy.”

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