Why Is a Technology Executive Leading Sears?

Lou D'Ambrosio will join Sears Holdings (SHLD) as CEO. The temporary CEO, W. Bruce Johnson, who has run the retailer for the past three years, will become executive vice president of off-mall businesses and supply chain and stay on the Sears board.

D'Ambrosio is an odd choice. He has been a technology executive until now. He was CEO of telecom equipment company Avaya, which he left for medical reasons in 2008. Before that, he worked at IBM (IBM) for 16 years.

D'Ambrosio has been a consultant to Sears for six months, advising the board on strategic issues. Still, the selection of a technology executive as CEO is a strange one. Many people believe Sears needs a seasoned manager with a background in retail.

The company has fallen apart over the last five years. Its shares have dropped 25% while the S&P has been about flat over the same period. The stock's performance has been notably weak in the last year, down about 10% compared to a 20% gain by the S&P. Thursday morning the retailer announced that fiscal fourth-quarter net income declined 13% on flat sales. For the quarter ended Jan. 29, earnings fell to $374 million, or $3.43 a share, from $430 million, or $3.74, a year ago. Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $3.67 a share versus $3.69 a year earlier. Revenue slipped less than 1% to $13.14 billion from $13.25 billion.

There is some precedent in recent years for companies looking outside their industries for CEOs. Ford (F) is the most successful example. In 2006 it brought in Boeing executive Alan Mulally and he engineered one of the great large-company turnarounds of the decade. Like Mulally, D'Ambrosio is something of a long shot. Sears is a very troubled company. The board may eventually come to regret not bringing in a seasoned executive from a firm like Macy's (M) or Walmart (WMT).

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rosehortahorta

Wow, only if you knew the frustruation as a customer that I went thru. I called two diffrent stores and spoke to diffrent people and caleed corporate with no help. After calling your Boca Raton store asking for an Item to see if it was in stock. I was told yes the associate continue to take my order. Only to get an email later saying the item was not in stock. They did take the money out of my account and i called back just to get the run aroung. Manager telling me that I had to wait 3-4 buissness day to get my money back..I requested for them to keep a customer happy to sell me the display and they refused. with that customer service I say Sera's is going no where.
My order num was 3058511493 my name is Rose Horta....wow no customer service at sear's Let's try Wallmart especially with the price garantee

December 09 2011 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
forgaczb

I purchased a Kenmore Elite refrigerator in May 2011 but postponed delivery of the product due to a kitchen remodel. Installation of the appliance was not accomplished until July 2011. Subsequent to the installation, I noticed the freezer portion was not working and immediately called Sears repair service. I was given a service date for repair of August 22, 2011, nearly a month from the reported problem. The date was not suitable for me and a subsequent date was arranged for Saturday, August 27th. On August 19th, I emailed your customer service department to lodge a complaint about the long delay in getting a repairman.
On Friday, August 26th, I called Sears to reschedule to the repair call. My town was under mandatory evacuation orders by the city government due to hurricane Irene, which was expected to make landfall on August 27th. The gentleman who took my call from Sears did not understand that the appointment needed to be rescheduled due to weather conditions and kept insisting that the repairman would be at my home on Saturday. Frustrated, I hung up and redialed in the hopes of connecting with someone who had a better command of the English language. The second gentleman was most helpful and I was rescheduled for Tuesday, August 30, 2011. I received an email confirming the appointment (Confirmation # 40405847). The email also confirmed that the product was within the warranty period.
On Monday, August 29, 2011, Sears called to cancel the appointment. I assume it was post storm conditions but no reason was given.
Finally, a repairman arrived yesterday. I explained that the refrigerator was brand new, out of the box and shouldn’t have a problem. I asked for a replacement and was told to call the Sears customer resolution department. If the refrigerator isn’t working properly as a new unit, what can I expect in a month or six months or a year from now? Aren’t there lemon laws to protect the consumer? I was also told that the repair appointment exceeded the warranty.
As the repairman was pulling the appliance away from the wall, he dislodged the adjoining cabinetry and cracked the grout on the backsplash. He didn’t apologize and after having talked to Angie at customer resolutions, he left the house without a word. I thought he went to his truck for paperwork or to check for parts but he just disappeared.
In the meantime, I was still on the phone with Angie. She told me that since the repairman came after the 90 days of the warranty I wasn’t entitled to a replacement. She also told me that I was the one who cancelled the original repair date and I shouldn’t have had the refrigerator delivered so soon. Plus, she said that I kept it in the box. As if to imply that keeping it in the box caused the defect. I asked to speak to her manager. She told me she didn’t have one. REALLY!
The end result, I have to wait at least two weeks for the parts to be mailed to me. From what I understand, there are 3 parts required for the repair. Then I have to call for another repair appointment. Based on my experience so far with Sears, that should be sometime in 2012.
What I most desire is some customer satisfaction. Sears was once an outstanding company to deal with. It had a fine reputation for quality and service. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Your company will no longer have my patronage. True, I’m only one person but if enough dissatisfied consumers rally together they can effect change. What I hope for now is a replacement and not a repair.

September 08 2011 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
forgaczb

I purchased a Kenmore Elite refrigerator in May 2011 but postponed delivery of the product due to a kitchen remodel. Installation of the appliance was not accomplished until July 2011. Subsequent to the installation, I noticed the freezer portion was not working and immediately called Sears repair service. I was given a service date for repair of August 22, 2011, nearly a month from the reported problem. The date was not suitable for me and a subsequent date was arranged for Saturday, August 27th. On August 19th, I emailed your customer service department to lodge a complaint about the long delay in getting a repairman.
On Friday, August 26th, I called Sears to reschedule to the repair call. My town was under mandatory evacuation orders by the city government due to hurricane Irene, which was expected to make landfall on August 27th. The gentleman who took my call from Sears did not understand that the appointment needed to be rescheduled due to weather conditions and kept insisting that the repairman would be at my home on Saturday. Frustrated, I hung up and redialed in the hopes of connecting with someone who had a better command of the English language. The second gentleman was most helpful and I was rescheduled for Tuesday, August 30, 2011. I received an email confirming the appointment (Confirmation # 40405847). The email also confirmed that the product was within the warranty period.
On Monday, August 29, 2011, Sears called to cancel the appointment. I assume it was post storm conditions but no reason was given.
Finally, a repairman arrived yesterday. I explained that the refrigerator was brand new, out of the box and shouldn’t have a problem. I asked for a replacement and was told to call the Sears customer resolution department. If the refrigerator isn’t working properly as a new unit, what can I expect in a month or six months or a year from now? Aren’t there lemon laws to protect the consumer? I was also told that the repair appointment exceeded the warranty.
As the repairman was pulling the appliance away from the wall, he dislodged the adjoining cabinetry and cracked the grout on the backsplash. He didn’t apologize and after having talked to Angie at customer resolutions, he left the house without a word. I thought he went to his truck for paperwork or to check for parts but he just disappeared.
In the meantime, I was still on the phone with Angie. She told me that since the repairman came after the 90 days of the warranty I wasn’t entitled to a replacement. She also told me that I was the one who cancelled the original repair date and I shouldn’t have had the refrigerator delivered so soon. Plus, she said that I kept it in the box. As if to imply that keeping it in the box caused the defect. I asked to speak to her manager. She told me she didn’t have one. REALLY!
The end result, I have to wait at least two weeks for the parts to be mailed to me. From what I understand, there are 3 parts required for the repair. Then I have to call for another repair appointment. Based on my experience so far with Sears, that should be sometime in 2012.
What I most desire is some customer satisfaction. Sears was once an outstanding company to deal with. It had a fine reputation for quality and service. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Your company will no longer have my patronage. True, I’m only one person but if enough dissatisfied consumers rally together they can effect change. What I hope for now is a replacement and not a repair.

September 08 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dora Haywood

Would you like to know how sears is now treating people? I purchased a washer and dryer on the 4th of July holiday sale for $735.00 each, went home and went on line to take the survey and noticed that they were $499.00 each . I called sears and they told me to go back to the store and have them make the correction, so I got dress again and went back to the store. They were happy to re ring the purchase. The delivery date was the same still set for July 5th . I had a 5pm or after timeframe set. On July 5th I received a phone call at work at 9:00am telling me they will be at my house within the hour. I explained that they were to make the delivery at or after 5pm, well now they had to come on the 6th. I had to use a half a day of vacation so they could make the delivery. The delivery people arrived to make the delivery but did not have the stackable equipment I told the sale repersentive was needed so with my permission they placed the items in my dining room. I went to sears and purchased the stackable equipment, called the sears delivery department and was told someone will be to my house in the morning on the 7th to stack the items between 7-9am. At 8:30 I called sears to find out how much longer it will be because I will be late to work and wanted to give a timeframe for my arrival to my supervisor but was told they didn’t have anyone scheduled to come to my house at that point my blood was boiling and now I’m late to work. I told sears to come and take back their merchandise because I am not going to miss anymore time from work because of their incompetence. I was out of town so I schedule the pickup for July the 10th. Sears called me at 4:30 on the 10th to say they are at my house. I don’t understand what is so hard to comprehend about 5pm or after but they stayed until I got home at 5 to take back the washer and dryer. I had to drive back to the store to return the stackable kit because it was purchased separately from the washer and dryer. July 23th I received my bill with a $120.05 balance due, so I called sears who told me to come back to the store for a fifth time. I explained I will not return to the store for a fifth time and I expected the matter to be corrected. Ms Brenda at the sears store ask if she could call me back after she does some checking into the matter and I told her yes. Ms Brenda has been the only person who offered real customer service throughout this ordeal. The price of the stackable equipment will be deducted from my bill. Thank you Lord. Now I’m dealing will a delivery fee that Is being charged to me for sears incompetence. Mr. Lewis I’m writing to you in the hopes that you will look into the matter and have this delivery fee of $69.99 removed from my account. Throughout this horror experience I’m still without a washer and dryer and very very displeased with the service I received from sears. I have worked in customer service for 22 years and if I performed as sears have treated me, I would be without a job. Thank you for taking the time to read this horror story. This is a result of my purchased from the Regency store in Jacksonville Florida. If I did not experience this myself I would not have believed it if someone told this story to me.
P.S. when I ask for the name and mailing address of the CEO I was given two different names by two different people. Do the employees of sears know who their CEO is ? I retrieved your information from the internet.

July 25 2011 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vito

re Sears---D'Ambrosio is an excellent pick ! some tech. background is req'd

in such a co.

February 24 2011 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cig28

Lou D'Ambrosio is a good pick I hope he will get retail people to help him. It is all about making sales. It is a store run it like a store and fine out what kind of store you want to be. Lou D'Ambrosio if you want help call me.

February 24 2011 at 8:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply