Mike Edwards

Borders, the 40-year-old bookstore chain that is in the midst of going out of business, said today its senior executive team also is going out the door.

The employment of President Mike Edwards and CFO Scott Henry “terminated” as of July 29, a Borders regulatory filing said in classic passive verbiage.

50 years ago, Lawrence Hoyt opened The Walden Book Store, which would later become Borders Group. Now, Borders is closing its doors for good.

The Borders Group said Monday that it would liquidate, shutting down the 40-year-old bookseller after it failed to find a last-minute savior.
Though it is not a big surprise, the move will still strip the publishing industry of shelf space that is becoming increasingly scarce as brick-and-mortar stores continue to founder.

Borders said it would proceed with a proposal by the private equity firms Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group to close down its 399 remaining stores. That liquidation plan will be presented on Thursday to the federal judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy case.

Borders Group Inc., the bankrupt bookstore chain, agreed to sell its business to Najafi Cos.’ Direct Brands LLC, a direct marketer that owns Book-of-the-Month Club.

The deal, which still requires an auction to test for higher bids, would save Borders from liquidation, the bookstore said yesterday in court papers.

The executive who is steering Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc. through bankruptcy said in an exclusive interview with AnnArbor.com that he is confident the bookstore chain can emerge from court protection as a viable company.

But he also acknowledged that the company’s future is dependent on the willingness of publishers to agree to new terms under which they would continue to ship books to the company’s remaining stores.

“All I can tell you is that we are here fighting to the end,” Borders Inc. CEO Mike Edwards said in a rare interview.

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