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Lansing named NBCi topper

Former Fingerhut CEO to replace Kitze

NBC Internet Monday tapped William Lansing CEO, replacing Chris Kitze, who will remain with the company as vice chairman.

Lansing, 41, is the former chairman and CEO of Fingerhut Cos., a subsidiary of Federated Department Stores. Prior to that he was VP of corporate development at General Electric. He previously served as chief operating officer of Prodigy and as a principal at McKinsey & Co.

“When Chris Kitze came to us and said he wanted to relinquish his operating responsibilities and take a larger role on the board of directors, we immediately thought of Will, who understands how to grow companies and reach new markets,” said NBCi chairman Bob Wright. “He turned around Prodigy, moved Fingerhut into the Internet space and was a pioneer in interactive marketing at McKinsey.”

Lansing will oversee all of NBCi’s Internet channels, including Snap.com; NBCi, a broadband portal that was launched last month; and NBC.com. NBC’s umbrella Internet division, NBCi, was launched in November.

“I think we have a good team and a good strategy,” Lansing said. “We’re such a young company with wonderful assets and it’s a matter of making sure that it all coalesces together.”

Shares of NBC Internet jumped more than $5 on the Nasdaq on news of the transition, closing at $50.25.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished at NBCi and I am excited that someone of Will Lansing’s capabilities is taking on the company’s CEO responsibilities,” Kitze said. “We have created a unique way for partners to reach customers via television, radio and both broadband and narrowband Internet and I know that Will Lansing will continue to propel NBCi into a leadership position on the Web.”

NBCi was created by combining a number of different Peacock companies: Snap.com, e-commerce portal Xoom.com, NBC.com, NBC Interactive Neigh-borhood, VideoSeeker and part of an equity stake in CNBC.com.

“We want to get those 150 million weekly NBC viewers and bring them to NBCi,” Lansing said.

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