Sears Names CEO
It’s probably fair to say that many in and around the retailing
business are wondering what Edward Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings, was
thinking when he chose Lou D’Ambrosio, a former technology company executive
without any retailing experience, to run Sears.
"We were determined to find a leader with information and technology
experience who could catalyze the transformation of our portfolio of businesses
in the context of the evolution of the retail industry that is occurring more
Mr. Lampert in a statement.
Public reactions to Mr. D’Ambrosio’s appointment
were not positive.
Thomas Stemberg, a former CEO at Staples, bluntly told The
Wall Street Journal, "The
whole notion of hiring a high-tech executive to run a retail company is absurd.’
Suisse analyst Gary Balter told The Associated Press, that Mr.
D’Ambrosio’s experience plays to those areas emphasized in the past by Mr.
Lampert that have failed to turn Sears around. "While Sears has played
the financial game well and has smartly invested in the internet, the store
experience remains one lacking due to underinvestment in the basics of retailing," he
Brian Sozzi, a research analyst with Wall Street Strategies, told the AP, "I
think [the appointment] is just another mistake on top of many years of mistakes."
possible reason behind the appointment was raised by Hank Greenberg of CNBC.
He pointed to a description of Mr. D’Ambrosio’s role in leading Avaya "through
a successful $8.3 billion private equity transaction."
According to Mr.
Greenberg, Sears has been buying back stock at an aggressive rate. Bruce Berkowitz
of Fairholme Capital, the second largest investor in Sears Holdings behind
Mr. Lampert, told CNBC, "At the end of the
day there will be two shares left. Eddie Lampert will own one and we will own
- Sears CEO pick leaves more questions than answers – The Associated
Press/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Sears Names New CEO With Technology Resume – The Wall Street Journal
- Greenberg: Is the New Sears CEO a Joke? – CNBC
Discussion Question: What is your take on Lou D’Ambrosio’s appointment as CEO of Sears? Given Sears’ commitment to digital commerce, is there something to the appointment that critics are missing?