Sears Holdings names new CIO
Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings announced that Jeff Balagna will join the company as executive VP and CIO. In his new role, Balagna who most recently served as CIO at Eli Lilly, will be responsible for all technology and infrastructure initiatives for the company in its support centers and in-store.
“Jeff is a proven executive with an analytical approach and experience in transforming complex organizations in rapidly evolving industries," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings’ chairman and CEO. "Innovation and technology are cornerstones in Sears Holdings’ efforts to build lasting relationships with our Shop Your Way members, and Jeff’s deep expertise in information technology infrastructure, customer loyalty programs and leveraging IT as a business-enabler make him a strong addition to our team."
Report: Costco gets OK to open store in Baton Rouge
New York — Officials in Baton Rouge have approved more than $7 million in incentives to bring a Costco store to the Louisiana city, the Associated Press reported.
Costco is expected to open a 150,000-sq-ft. store by next April at the site of a former Coca-Cola bottling facility, the report said.
Wet Seal to pay $7.5 million in discrimination lawsuit
Philadelphia — Wet Seal Inc. agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle a federal racial discrimination lawsuit that accused retailer of firing black employees because they didn’t fit the retailer’s “brand image.”
The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund represented the plaintiffs in the class-action effort. The lawsuit alleged that former top Wet Seal executives denied equal pay and promotion opportunities to black store managers or removed them outright, replacing them with white employees.
In a statement, Wet Seal CEO John D. Goodman, who took the reins of the chain in January, said that the company appreciates the insights gained in the lawsuit and is committed to nondiscriminatory employment practices.
“From the moment I became CEO of Wet Seal in January, I made clear that we value a diverse work force and believe that a dynamic and representative employee base allows us to best serve all our customers,” Goodman stated. “We are pleased to put this matter behind us.”