Indigo Books and Music founder Heather Reisman announced she is retiring as almost half of the book retailer’s board of directors steps down.

"The time has come for me to retire from an active role at Indigo," Reisman said in a news release on Wednesday.

heather reisman

On Aug. 22, she plans to retire.

She founded the Toronto-based book shop 25 years ago with the first location in Burlington, Ont. Since then, Indigo has grown into the largest book retailer in Canada after merging with Chapters in 2001.

Her “Heather's Picks” section of the store, which marks books she has read and loved with a sticker of approval, has become a cornerstone for the company. Aside from books, the company dove into beauty and wellness goods, and home decor in recent years.

"Deciding when it is time to move on is one of the toughest decisions a Founder must make, but I know this is the right moment for me,” she said.

Her departure comes alongside directors Frank Clegg, Howard Grosfield, Anne Marie O'Donovan and Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa stepping down. That translates to four of the company’s 10 directors.

Oriuwa indicated she was resigning “because of her loss of confidence in board leadership and because of mistreatment,” in the Wednesday news release. The physician was appointed to the board in 2020 as a “knowledgeable voice to inform diversity and inclusion efforts," Reisman said at the time.

“I have full confidence and respect for Peter Ruis, CEO of Indigo, faith in his management team and executive strategy,” Oriuwa told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday. Ruis took over Reisman’s role as CEO in 2022.

Indigo was in a state of turmoil earlier this year when a cyberattack shocked the company in February, forcing its website and payment systems to temporarily halt.

Indigo did not immediately respond to an inquiry about why the remaining directors were leaving.

Reisman’s replacement has not been announced.