Lynch will succeed Glenn James, who by mutual agreement with the company's board of directors has left the firm to pursue other opportunities.
Renaissance Learning's president and chief operating officer Steve Schmidt will serve as interim CEO until Lynch joins the company.
Lynch, 53, has more than 20 years of management experience in the software and information industry, and he is a highly respected leader in the field of education technology.
While serving as president and CEO of the Pearson School Technology Group, Lynch led the turnaround of an instructional software business targeting "at-risk" student populations with market leading instructional design, animation, and adaptive reasoning software, and helped to create the first ever digital textbook to be adopted by the State of California.
Most recently, Lynch was a member of the executive board of Wolters Kluwer, a global leader in professional information services.
"As Renaissance Learning moves forward into its next phase of growth and development, we are thrilled to bring in Jack to lead the Company and its talented team of dedicated professionals," said Brian Ruder, a member of the Renaissance Learning board. "Jack is a world-class executive with proven leadership skills, deep strategic and operational experience, and significant industry contacts and expertise. He shares our strategic vision for the future of the company, and we believe that he is ideally suited to lead Renaissance Learning to the next level."
Ruder added, "We thank Glenn for his exemplary service and for his leadership in helping to bring Renaissance Learning to where it is today, having just completed its biggest order quarter ever in September 2012, and wish him well in his future endeavors."
"I am enthusiastic about joining Renaissance Learning, a company that is not only improving educational experiences for so many students but one that is also significantly raising the bar for innovation and quality in the dynamic cross-sector of education and technology," Lynch said. "With its exceptional products, strong brand, and highly regarded customer service, Renaissance Learning is well positioned to capitalize on burgeoning opportunities to enhance and improve education in the classroom through the delivery and implementation of innovative technologies. I look forward to working closely with Permira, the Renaissance Learning Board, Steve Schmidt, and the rest of the management team to ensure a smooth transition and help drive the Company's future growth and continued success in accelerating learning."