Sears’ CEO to Step Down
Chicago Sears Holdings Corp. said Monday that its president and CEO Aylwin B. Lewis would step down at the end of its fiscal year this week, the latest blow for an ailing company that’s struggling to connect with customers and invigorate slumping sales.
Lewis will be succeeded by W. Bruce Johnson, an executive VP of supply chain and operations who will fill the role on an interim basis. The company said Monday that Lewis will also resign from Sears’ board.
“We are entering a new phase in Sears’ evolution as a multichannel retailer, as reflected by the new operational structure we recently announced, and the board has determined that now is the right time to put in place new leadership to take the company forward,” Sears chairman Edward Lampert said in a statement.
Johnson joined Kmart in 2003 as senior VP of supply chain and operations. He was named to the office of the chairman in 2005 and took on store operations in 2006.
Home Depot ditches bank plans
ATLANTA The Home Depot has withdrawn its application to purchase EnerBank USA, a home improvement loan provider based in Utah, according to reports.
Congress approves economic growth plan
The United States Congress and President George W. Bush Thursday reached a bipartisan agreement designed to boost consumer spending and stimulate the economy.
The economic growth plan will provide approximately $100 billion in temporary relief, according to a White House press release.
The stimulus package will cut taxes from 10% to 0% on the first $6,000 of taxable income for individuals and the first $12,000 of taxable income for couples in 2008. The plan will also provide rebates of up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples. Furthermore, a minimum of $300 per person and $600 per couple would be available to those with earned income of at least $3,000. This relief would be available to everyone with adjusted gross income less than $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly. It will be phased out for taxpayers above those income thresholds. An additional $300 will be provided per child for those who qualify.
The plan was also designed to help spur business investment. According to the White House, the agreement would save businesses approximately $50 billion in near-term taxes through a temporary change to the tax code that will allow American businesses that buy new equipment this year to deduct an additional 50% of the cost of their investment in 2008.
“I am pleased that this agreement meets the criterion that I set forth last week to provide an effective, robust, and temporary set of incentives that will boost our economy and encourage job creation,” President Bush said in a statement. “This package has the right set of policies and is the right size. The incentives in this package will lead to higher consumer spending and increased business investment this year.”