Ron Marshall

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Are things turning around for Borders?


Three months ago, it was announced that Borders was seeking to combine existing stocks in an attempt to bolster their stock prices to above a dollar. Three weeks ago, they announced that their stocks had risen above a dollar all on their own. The cost cutting and new management policies put into place by Ron Marshall seemed to be working. Investors were impressed and the stock has been rising ever since. Last closing, BGI was traded at $2.62.

Business journals that had recently written off the book retailer are now pointing to BGI’s possible rejuvenation. Reporters, who in February named Borders as one of the top 10 companies guaranteed to fail in 2009, are now heralding a new day at BGI.

Will Marshall’s changes be good for the company? What do you think of Borders’ “turn-around”?


What Does Borders Need to Do to Survive?


Borders Books and Music is now experiencing it’s fourth major management shake up in 15 months. Over the last year, several key and not-so-key upper level positions have changed hands several times as Borders tries to find the right leaders to help them reclaim their position as America’s favorite bookstore chain.

Sites dedicated to Borders employee opinion are full of complaints about 2008 staff cuts and management decisions, Borders stock prices have plummeted and they are in danger of being delisted on the Stock Exchange. It is a dark time for a chain that has worked so hard to be the “nice guy” in the publishing retail world.

George Jones has been replaced by Ron Marshall, a CEO who has experience both in books and in turning around companies. George was a good man with good ideas, and I wish him the best. He did what he thought was right and drove down Borders debt considerably.

But my most fervent hopes are with Ron Marshall. If Borders cannot turn things around and bring themselves back to health, things will be very bleak for publishers and authors.

Stock prices aside, Borders deserves a chance to reinvent themselves. I have nothing against, Barnes and Noble, but Borders is a strong supporter of local arts, launches new authors on a regular basis, and works with publishers in a cooperative manner.

So I ask…. why do you think Borders is declining? What would YOU do to improve things at Borders?