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Undergraduate Commencement Speaker

Demos Parneros
Chief Executive Officer, Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Demos Parneros

Demos Parneros is chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media, and educational products.  He is responsible for overseeing 630 bookstores in 50 states and 24,000 employees. Mr. Parneros joined the company in November 2016 as its chief operating officer and was promoted to CEO in April 2017. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors.     

Mr. Parneros started his career at Macy’s as a member of its executive training program and held various positions over a five-year period. He joined Staples as general manager of its first New York City store in 1987, and he worked his way up the ranks through multiple management positions. Prior to joining Barnes & Noble, Mr. Parneros was president, North American stores and online, where he was responsible for 50,000 employees across 1,800 stores, as well as Staples’ online business.
 
Mr. Parneros was born in Cyprus and immigrated to the United States at the age of eight, without speaking a word of English.  He knows the power of books, citing reading as one of the most important enablers to connecting with his classmates and community. Reading skills helped him become a better student and set him on a path to a successful career in business.  Mr. Parneros is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Science in management and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He is currently a member of the National Book Foundation’s board of directors, KeyCorp’s board of directors, and Modell’s Sporting Goods board of advisors.

Mr. Parneros and his wife, Debbie, have two children, Trish and Andrew. Trish is a 2016 graduate of Endicott College, where she majored in marketing communications.