World’s Largest Book Seller Appoints E-Commerce Specialist as Chief Executive

Appointment of CEO May Point to Barnes & Noble’s Future: Electronic Commerce

by Anton Shilov
03/18/2010 | 10:04 AM

Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest seller of books, on Thursday appointed its new chief executive officer William Lynch, a move that clearly indicates the direction of the company’s future growth: various forms of electronic commerce.

 

“William came to us as a skillful leader in e-commerce who, in a short period of time, has done a superb job in quickly establishing Barnes & Noble as a major player in e-commerce and digital content," said Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble

Since joining Barnes & Noble in February 2009 as president Mr. Lynch has put Barnes & Noble's core e-commerce business on a high growth track and launched the company's digital commerce platform, including Nook, an e-book reader from B&N. It is not a secret that a lot of people acquire paper books via the Internet and there is growing number of readers buying electronic books wirelessly. Therefore, it is not surprising that Barnes & Noble is planning to focus on electronic business going forward.

“Given the dynamic nature of the book industry, William is uniquely qualified to lead the company's transition to multi-channel distribution and drive the continuing expansion of our e-commerce platform, eBooks and other digital content and products,” added Mr. Riggio.

The new chief executive of B&N has a long experience in various e-commerce companies. Mr. Lynch came to Barnes & Noble from HSNi, where he was executive vice president of marketing and general manager of HSN.com. From 2004 to 2008, he was chief executive officer of gifts.com, an IAC subsidiary he co-founded. From 2000 to 2004, he was vice president and general manager of e-commerce for Palm, where he oversaw Palm's web properties, including Palm.com, the Palm online store, the Palm software connection and the Palm.Net wireless ISP. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lynch held senior positions at Seagram Universal and Guinness.

“Our commitment is to leverage our Barnes & Noble stores and leading e-commerce channels such as bn.com, to provide consumers convenient access to the physical and digital products they want virtually anytime, anywhere. I look forward to […] deliver on this promise to our customers, and blend our digital services with our traditional retail store operations to provide compelling in-store experiences and unmatched purchasing options,” said William Lynch, the new CEO of Barnes & Noble.