Barnes & Noble Looks to Digital Future, Replaces a Riggio

Determined to stake out a strong digital future, Barnes & Noble on Thursday named William Lynch, president of the company’s Web division, as chief executive, succeeding Stephen Riggio, who will remain as vice chairman. The company was founded by Riggio's brother, Len Riggio (a native Brooklynite) in 1971.

William Lynch, who introduced the company’s electronic book reader in October, had been president of the company’s Web division. He has no previous experience in the book business.

In the unexpected move, Mr. Lynch, 39, was named to the top spot a little over a year after arriving at the company. He is also the first person outside of the Riggio family to be named chief executive since Leonard Riggio, the company’s chairman, bought the company in 1971. He appointed his younger brother, Stephen, 55, in 2002.

Looks like the Nook v. Kindle battle is heating up. Story by Motoko Rich from The New York Times.


So what?

He has no previous experience in the book business.

A bet he has some employees that work for him that have experience in the book business. I will grant you that having experience can be helpful but in the business BN is in a fresh set of eyes may be the thing they need. The publishing and book selling industry has been a train wreck for years so those mighty ones with experience have not been doing that great.

It was worth bolding.