Sears Holdings to get new chief executive

Sears Holdings Corp.

Last Updated at 25 Jul 2014, 16:00 ET *Chart shows local time Sears Holdings Corp. intraday chart
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US retail giant Sears has said chief executive Louis D'Ambrosio will step down in February because of family health issues.

He will be replaced by the company chairman and largest shareholder, Edward Lampert.

The firm, which operates Sears and Kmart stores, said Mr D'Ambrosio will remain on the board until the company's annual meeting in May.

It also announced a 1.8% drop in sales in the last three months of 2012.

The decline was largely due to poor electronics sales, Sears said.

Kmart suffered the largest drop of the group's two major brands. Sales, excluding newly opened stores, were down 3.8% in the nine weeks to the end of December.

Sales at the Sears stores were up, mostly because of good clothing sales, while online sales at both Sears and Kmart were up 20%.

The group has been trying to pay off debts and reduce its losses.

In the past year, the group has announced the closure of the firm announced plans to close almost 200 branches, including some of its smaller Hometown stores and Sears Hardware outlets.

It also announced plans to spin off its Hometown and Outlet stores into a separate publicly traded company.

The health issues at Mr D'Ambrosio's family have not been revealed.

"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," Mr Lampert said.

Mr D'Ambrosio took over the helm at Sears Holdings in February 2011, after previously being president and chief executive of communications firm Avaya

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