Barnes & Noble's Old-Tyme Chairman Sees the Future

Model-wrangling billionaire Ron Burkle scored a victory this morning in his battle to grab control of Barnes & Noble, when an advisory service recommended that shareholders vote for Burkle's slate of directors. What's B&N chairman Leonard Riggio (pictured) doing wrong?

Riggio, of course, wants to take control of the wheezing company himself. But despite his heated rhetoric, he doesn't seem to be able to convince everyone that he's a better bet than Burkle. In Dealbook today, Michael de la Merced finds Riggio strangely optimistic about BN's future, due to the magical electronic books they make these days. (Whereas most people see no reason why Amazon won't kick BN's ass in that arena, too). It's almost as if Riggio is a little... old-fashioned.

"Lots of people have an emotional stake in books," he said. "It's not like what they have with their haberdashers."

Capital analysis, chum! Want people to take you seriously, Riggio? Lose the 'stache, Bogart. Then we'll talk.