Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio Out; Digital Guy William Lynch Takes Over

william lynch

Barnes & Noble Inc. CEO Steve Riggio is stepping down, the company announced this morning. William Lynch, the president of, will replace him.

Lynch, 39, has been running Barnes & Noble’s Web site since February 2009 and is known as the guy who spearheaded the launch of the Nook. He’s essentially Barnes & Noble’s digital leader, and they will expect him to navigate the company through the increasingly competitive e-book market.

Riggio will still be active at the company as vice chairman, according to the announcement.

He is Leonard Riggio’s brother, the company’s chairman and biggest shareholder.

“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 said in the press statement. “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.”

Before coming to Barnes & Noble, Lynch was GM of From 2004 to 2008, he was CEO of IAC’s, which he co-founded. Before that he was VP of e-commerce for Palm Inc., where he oversaw Palm’s Web properties, including, the Palm Online Store, the Palm Software Connection and the Palm.Net wireless ISP.

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