Sears Losing Chief Merchant; Names New Executives
Hoffman Estates, Ill., Sears Holdings Corp. announced on Wednesday that its president and chief merchant, Luis Padilla, is leaving the company for undisclosed reasons, effective Oct. 31, 2005. A search for his replacement is underway.
Also on Wednesday, Sears Holdings announced it was bringing in a pair of outside executives to lead marketing and strategy. Reflecting his strong hands-on role in the company, the individuals will report to chairman Edward Lampert rather than CEO Aylwin Lewis.
Maureen McGuire will assume the newly-created position of executive VP and chief marketing officer for Sears Holdings. She joins Sears from IBM, where she worked for 30 years, most of them as VP, strategy and marketing, worldwide systems and technology group.
“These two experienced and highly effective executives will bring Sears Holdings a new level of creativity and focus on marketing and our customer relationships,” said Lampert. “I particularly value the winning attitude and record of success that they will bring to Sears Holdings, and I expect them to help lead the on-going change in Sears’ culture.”
Corwin Yulinsky will join Sears Holdings as executive VP, customer strategy and insight. He joins Sears from McKinsey and Co., where he was a leader of the financial institutions practice.
In other announcements, David McCreight was formally named president of Lands’ End. He has been acting as interim president since Aug. 4, 2005. He joined Lands’ End in 2003 as chief merchant.
Hilfiger Plans New Chain
New York City, Tommy Hilfiger Corp. is reinventing its H Hilfiger label as a high-end lifestyle brand with the goal of becoming a 200-store chain, according to a report in Women’s Wear Daily. The first repositioned H Hilfiger store will open in Tysons Corner, Vienna, Va., in February 2006, followed by units in Dallas and Chicago. The stores will carry both women’s and men’s apparel and accessories.
Wal-Mart Establishes Minority-Business Equity Fund
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it would invest $25 million to establish a private-equity fund to invest in businesses controlled by women and minorities.
The co-investment management fund will have an allocation life of five years. It will be managed by Dallas-based Aldus Equity.