TORONTO - Sears Canada (TSX:SCC) is bringing in an executive from the ranks of its U.S. parent to replace outgoing CEO Douglas Campbell while it hunts for a more permanent candidate.
Ronald Boire will step in as chief executive officer of the Canadian retailer, moving from his job at Sears Holdings Corp., where he served as chief merchandising officer and president of the Sears and Kmart Formats.
Boire replaces Campbell, who said last month he would be leaving the company by the end of the year for personal reasons and returning to the United States.
Sears Canada says it continues the search for a permanent replacement and considers Boire to be a leading candidate.
Boire joined Sear Holdings nearly three years ago after serving as president and CEO of retailer Brookstone Inc. and, before that, Toys R Us where he was president of the North American division.
Earlier in his career, he worked as global merchandise manager at Best Buy and spent 17 years at Sony Electronics in several senior management positions. He also serves on the board of U.S. advocacy group the Retail Industry Leaders Association, based in Washington.
"I look forward to building on the work done by Doug Campbell and his team... in the core retail operations and aligning the size of the organization with the size of the business," Boire said.
"Creating value for all of our stakeholders will be my mission and the mission of all of us at Sears Canada."
Sears Canada has been undergoing dramatic changes after looking for prospective buyers and failing to find sufficient interest.
Earlier this month Sears Holdings announced it would reduce its stake in Sears Canada and raise as much as US$380 million for its own operations in the process.
The U.S. parent company could sell up to 40 million shares of Sears Canada through a rights offering to its shareholders, which include U.S. chairman and CEO Edward Lampert and ESL Investments Inc., a private company that he controls.
Under the offering, the parent company will lower its ownership in the Canadian retailer to 12 per cent from 51 per cent, after having already cut its stake several years ago.
Sears Canada has been struggling in an increasingly competitive market dominated by discount retailers.
Over the past few years, the company has dramatically reduced its workforce and also sold off leases to several department stores, including its prominent location at Toronto's Eaton Centre, a popular tourist destination.