FINANCE

Report: Sears’ Lampert fires back at ‘false’ reports

BY Marianne Wilson

Former Sears chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert is pushing back against accusations that he hasn’t followed through on paying severance to laid-off Sears employees.

On May 31, Sen.  Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a letter to Lampert, criticizing him for efforts to avoid repaying Sears for $43 million in severance to workers laid off in the wake of Sears’ bankruptcy. In a letter to the pair dated June 13, and obtained by CNBC, Lampert said such accusations are based on “false” reports and that, to his knowledge, all employees who were owned severance have been paid.

In the same letter, Lampert defended his leadership at Sears and noted that job losses at Sears were a reflection of job losses across the retail industry. He also said Sears has not been alone in its struggle to adapt to a changing environment and to compete with newer companies that have no legacy liabilities.

“Singling Sears out and publicly disparaging me and the company because we were not able to successfully transform Old Sears, when so many others have met a similar fate, is unfortunate and unfair,” wrote Lampert.

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