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NBCi names new chief executive

The Internet arm of the TV network taps William Lansing, a former executive at Fingerhut and General Electric, as its chief executive.

NBC Internet today tapped William Lansing, a former executive at Fingerhut and General Electric, as its chief executive.

Chris Kitze Lansing, Fingerhut's fomer CEO, replaces Chris Kitze, who was appointed vice chairman at NBCi. Kitze wanted to relinquish his day-to-day duties and take a broader role on the Internet media company's board, NBCi said. Kitze co-founded Xoom.com, which was acquired last year by NBC.

CNET, publisher of News.com, is an investor in NBCi.

The 41-year-old Lansing will be responsible for NBCi's operations, including its strategic direction and financial operations.

Lansing makes a strong replacement for Kitze, NBCi chairman Bob Wright said in a statement.

"He turned around Prodigy, moved Fingerhut into the Internet space, and was a pioneer in interactive marketing at McKinsey," Wright said.

Until last week, Lansing ran Fingerhut, a direct marketing company and subsidiary of Federated Department Stores with $2 billion in revenues. Before that stint, he was vice president of corporate development at General Electric, where he reported to GE chairman Jack Welch, who also sits on the board of directors of NBCi.