Sears Canada CEO to step down by year-end

Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:06pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho and Nathan Layne

TORONTO/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Department store chain Sears Canada Inc, which has had six consecutive years of declining revenue, said on Thursday that Chief Executive Douglas Campbell will resign by the end of this year so that he can tend to family matters.

Sears Canada, which is majority-owned by Sears Holdings Corp, is facing intense competition and has seen its market share erode for years.

Campbell, a turnaround specialist who joined Sears Canada in March 2011 and took over as CEO a year ago, stepped in when the previous chief executive, Calvin McDonald, left the company. Media reports at the time said McDonald's departure was due to differing views with the parent company on restructuring efforts.

Campbell will step down by Jan. 1, 2015.

"Maybe they'll bring someone in ... and try to shore up their business as best they can so that either it becomes profitable or at some point they can monetize it down the road," said Evan Mann, senior analyst at Gimme Credit.

Campbell's departure comes the same week that the New York Post reported that Sears Holdings' efforts to sell its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada failed to garner any acceptable bids.

The Post said the lack of bids was the main reason Sears Holdings took out an emergency $400 million loan from controlling shareholder Eddie Lampert, a hedge fund billionaire and chairman of Sears Holdings.

The short-term loan gave the company financial flexibility and a more predictable source of funding for the holiday season, Sears Holdings said.   Continued...

Sears President and CEO Doug Campbell speaks during its annual and special meeting of shareholders in Toronto April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Aaron Harris