Fingerhut Companies Inc., Minnetonka, MN, selected William J. Lansing, vice president for business development at General Electric Co., as its president. Lansing's appointment adds an extra executive to the upper-level management structure of the $1.8 billion company. Theodore Deikel, who has served as president, chairman and CEO, will continue as chairman and CEO. Lansing will focus on expanding Fingerhut's marketing and fulfillment business, electronic commerce and global growth. "Fingerhut has the deepest customer database in the industry," Lansing said. "You can bet we will be looking for ways to leverage our customer relationships through strategic acquisitions and innovative database applications. We can benefit both our shareholders and our customers by building products, services and relationships centered on this database." Lansing also will work closely with Peter Michielutti, chief operating officer of Fingerhut's retail business.