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William Lansing, a pioneer of Internet retailing who has worked in senior management at ShopNBC.com, Fingerhut Companies and Federated Department Stores Inc., has been named president and CEO of Internet search company InfoSpace.
William Lansing, a pioneer of Internet retailing who has served in senior management at ShopNBC.com, Fingerhut Companies, and Federated Department Stores Inc. (which has since been renamed Macy’s Inc.), has been named president and CEO of Internet search company InfoSpace. He succeeds Jim Voelker, who has retired but will remain as board chairman through 2010, InfoSpace says.
"Will`s experience in recognizing strategic shifts, driving online growth and his reputation for being a passionate leader elevated him to the top of our list," says Voelker. "We are thrilled to have him on board as we look to build on the successes of the last several years."
InfoSpace operates several Internet search sites, including Dogpile.com, Webfetch.com and MetaCrawler.com, that pull query results from multiple search engines.
Lansing is a former president and CEO of ValueVision Media Inc., where he launched ShopNBC.TV, the Internet complement to the Shop NBC TV shopping channel. ShopNBC is No. 65 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Lansing’s Internet technology experience, which began in the 1990s as a partner in the information technology practice at consultants McKinsey & Co., includes a stint as chief operating officer of Prodigy Inc., an early online gateway and marketplace founded in the ‘90s as a joint venture by IBM Corp. and Sears, Roebuck and Co., No. 8 in the Guide. Lansing led a management buyout of Prodigy that took it private.
Following Prodigy, which is no longer in business, Lansing served as a vice president at General Electric Co., then as CEO of direct-to-consumer retailer Fingerhut. At Fingerhut, Lansing managed the sale of the company to Federated Department Stores. He then took on the additional role of chairman of the direct-to-consumer division Federated Direct, which included Macys.com, No. 28 in the Guide, and Macys-by-Mail.
Lansing also serves on the boards of online marketing services company Digital River Inc.; RightNow Technologies Inc., a provider of online customer service applications; and Fair Isaac Corp., a provider of financial risk-scoring technology and services.