Sears CEO Louis J. D'Ambrosio to Step Down, Citing Family Health Issues

Louis D'Ambrosio

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Sears Holdings (SHLD) announced late Monday that CEO Louis J. D'Ambrosio is stepping down next month due to health issues involving his family.

The company, which operates the Sears and Kmart chains, said D'Ambrosio will be replaced by the company's chairman and largest shareholder, Edward Lampert. D'Ambrosio will remain on the board until the company's annual meeting in May.

The nature of the health issues affecting D'Ambrosio's family was not disclosed.

In a statement, Lampert said D'Ambrosio led Sears Holdings during a time of rapid industry change to become a more customer-focused company. Changes implemented under D'Ambrosio include giving sales staff almost 15,000 iPads and iPod Touch devices so they can research products and help customers check out wherever they are in a store. The company is also improving displays and adding more high-tech washing machines and other appliances.

"The board greatly appreciates Lou's strong leadership in accelerating the transformation of Sears Holdings, and we understand and respect his personal decision to step down," Lampert said.

D'Ambrosio became Sears Holdings CEO in February 2011. He was previously president and chief executive officer of Avaya, a communications company. Before joining Avaya, D'Ambrosio spent 16 years at IBM (IBM).

Sears Holdings has been plagued by a years-long decline in sales at its Sears and Kmart stores.

Last year, it announced it was moving forward with plans to spin off its Hometown and Outlet stores as well as some hardware stores into a separate publicly traded company. The move is part of its effort to restore profitability by aggressively cutting costs, reducing inventory, selling off some assets and spinning off others.

But its sales are still declining. It said Monday that in the nine-week period ending Dec. 29, sales at its stores open at least a year fell 1.8 percent, largely due to sales declines in consumer electronics at both Sears and Kmart. The period included the crucial holiday season -- when retailers can make up to 40 percent of annual revenue.

Sales at stores open at least a year is a key metric for retailers because it excludes revenue at stores that recently opened or closed.

Sears also gave an update on its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. It said it expected to report a loss between $2.64 and $3.40 per share for the quarter ending Feb. 2. Excluding one-time items, it forecasts a profit of between $1.25 and $2 per share.

Sears operates more than 2,600 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Shares in the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company rose nearly 2 percent in trading Monday before D'Ambrosio's departure was announced. In the past 12 months, they have risen almost 58 percent.




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14 Comments

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rw302361

since 2006 when sears starting to cheat its loyal costomers along with citi bank I cant stand them

January 13 2013 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ruthr425

Sears is the cheapest company to work for. I ought to know. They get what they deserve.

January 08 2013 at 4:25 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
gene

I think all of the last 10 comments are from people who work for Home Depot

January 08 2013 at 3:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nightrider3031

i hate sears try not shopping there or kmart i wish they would close all the sears and kmart stores terrible sales people cuatomer service is terrible

January 08 2013 at 3:00 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
dkelmstra

I recently made appliance purchase from SEARS -- nothing but headaches! I will NEVER go back to SEARS again. I prefer to shop at LOWES or HOME DEPOT for appliances as they are much more customer oriented. SEARS at one time was a family oriented store - under their new ownership they have become more like KMART.

January 08 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the1autodoctor

I grew up in a sears kenmore household. We bought everything from there and with 7 kids we used a lot.Years pass I had 7 kids of my own and we too were a sears household until the day that my 12 month and 7 day old washers transmission failed. I figured no problem Sears would stand behind it, NOT!! Sears pretty much told me to go screw myself. ( not even a discount on a replacement machine ) Now its 15 years later and none of my kids have even been in a Sears in that time (Do you think that cost them some revenue?) The crowning achivement for me was refurbishing 27 condos with new appliances and never even giving Sears the opportunity to bid. When Sears takes its dying breath I will feel that a great justice has been done .

January 08 2013 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bphylmel

I no longer shop at Sears since I saw the piece on ABC about how a man invented a wrench has a patent on it and signed with Sears to sell it, and also signed contract that he would not let places like Lowe's & Home Depot sell it, only Sears exclusively. Sears copied the man's tool & making it China under the Craftsman Logo. It put many American's out of work and hurt this man's business. I think there is a lawsuit against Sears and I hope this entrepreneur wins, though it is hard to fight a huge Corporation like Sears.

January 08 2013 at 10:30 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
bphylmel

I no longer shop at Sears since I saw the piece on ABC about how a man invented a wrench has a patent on it and signed with Sears to sell it, and also signed contract that he would not let places like Lowe's & Home Depot sell it, only Sears exclusively. Sears copied the man's tool and is having it made in China under the Craftsman Logo. It put many American's out of work and hurt this man's business. I think there is a lawsuit against Sears and I hope this entrepreneur wins, though it is hard to fight a huge Corporation like Sears.

January 08 2013 at 10:30 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
bphylmel

I no longer shop at Sears since I saw the piece on ABC about how a man invented a wrench has a patent on it and signed with Sears to sell it, and also signed a contract that they would not let places like Lowe's & Home Depot sell it, Sears wanted to sell it exclusively. Then Sears copied the man's tool and is having it made in China under the Craftsman Logo. It put many American's out of work and hurt this man's business. I think there is a lawsuit against Sears and I hope this entrepreneur wins, though it is hard to fight a huge Corporation like Sears.

January 08 2013 at 10:28 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
bphylmel

I no longer shop at Sears since I saw the piece on ABC about how a man invented a wrench has a patent on it and signed with Sears to sell it, and also signed a contract that they would not let places like Lowe's & Home Depot sell it, Sears wanted to sell it exclusively. Then Sears copied the man's tool and is having it made in China under the Craftsman Logo. It put many American's out of work and hurt this man's business. I think there is a lawsuit against Sears and I hope this entrepreneur wins, though it is hard to fight a huge Corporation like Sears. I recently purchased all new large kitchen appliances and boycotted Sears.

January 08 2013 at 10:28 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply