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Barnes & Noble Names William Lynch CEO - Update

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Bookstore chain Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS: Quote) announced Thursday the appointment of William Lynch as the chief executive officer of the company, succeeding Stephen Riggio to the position. Riggio will continue as the vice chairman and will be actively involved in the company. Riggio, a 30-year veteran of the bookselling business, was appointed chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. in February 2002.

Meanwhile, the company also announced the promotion of Chief Operating Officer Mitchell Klipper to chief executive officer of the company's retail group, which includes the retail business and the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Inc., which was recently acquired from the company's chairman.

In a statement, chairman, Leonard Riggio said, "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, of Barnes & Noble, Inc. "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."

Lynch joined the company in February 2009 as president of Barnes & Noble.com, and was responsible for the company's e-commerce operations. Lynch joined Barnes & Noble from HSNi, where he was executive vice president of marketing and general manager of HSN.com.

Earlier, Lynch was chief executive officer and co-founder of gifts.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of IAC, from 2004 to 2008. He also served as vice president and general manager, e-commerce, for Palm Inc. from 2000 to 2004,, where he oversaw Palm's Web properties, including Palm.com, the Palm Online Store, the Palm Software Connection and the Palm.Net wireless ISP.

"I am very excited and energized by the opportunity to lead Barnes & Noble. The bookselling, publishing and media industries are quickly evolving, and with our unique assets, strong brands and ability to reach millions of customers every day we are well positioned to take advantage of the big opportunities," Lynch added.

Klipper, who is promoted to chief executive officer of the company's retail group, is a 23-year veteran of the company and has held increasingly senior executive positions including chief financial officer, president of Barnes & Noble's Development Group and most recently as chief operating officer. He became chief operating officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. in February 2002.

Riggio added, "Mitchell is one of the most talented operators in the retail industry. He has been largely responsible for the nationwide expansion of our superstore concept, and we are thrilled he will be taking on additional responsibility for our important college business."

BKS closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $22.33, up $0.18 on a volume of 1.03 million shares, lower than the three-month average volume of 1.41 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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