Barnes and Noble Education (BNED) rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange after officially spinning-off from its parent company, Barnes and Noble (BKS). Executive chairman, Michael Huseby spoke with TheStreet about what will change now that the education division is a publicly traded company. Formerly the Barnes and Noble College division, the separate board and management team will allow Barnes and Noble Education to ‘have much more focus on the things that are important to Barnes and Noble Education and our college customers,’ Huseby said. ‘The spinoff will help the education part of the business achieve access to the capital markets and be able to accomplish some things that it’s been wanting to do for some period of time.’ Huseby says that one of the things that Barnes and Noble Education can heavily invest in now is their digital platform through their app, Yuzu. Yuzu allows students to rent and save eTextbooks onto their smart devices and to highlight and take notes directly into their digital textbooks. However Huseby sees digital textbooks as just the beginning for Barnes and Noble Education’s digital platform. ‘There are a lot of different media that can be brought into digital education once we work with the content producers to develop that content to populate our platform,’ Huseby said. In moving higher education onto the digital platform, Huseby hopes to ‘improve education and make it less costly.’
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