After searching for a CEO for three years, Sears Holding gave the job to D’Ambrosio, a former telecom company executive, in 2011. Sears was then (and still is) reeling from its failing marriage to Kmart, and D’Ambrosio seems to grasp the daunting challenges that Sears and other old, stuck-in-their-ways retailers face. “We saw what happened to Borders. We saw what happened to Blockbuster,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “You don’t change, you die.” Sears is changing; under D’Ambrosio’s leadership, it has launched a loyalty program and expanded efforts to track shopper data to boost sales. But, as one retail analyst put it, Sears has been “in a zombie state for years,” and the question is whether these or any changes can bring the company back from the dead.
- Tough Leaders for Tough Times
- Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!
- Ron Johnson, JCPenney
- Thorstein Heins, Research In Motion
- Wayne Sales, Supervalu
- John Maguire, Friendly’s
- Louis D’Ambrosio, Sears
- Donald Layton, Freddie Mac
- Karl-Erling Trogen, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB
- Patrick Donahoe, U.S. Postal Service
- ?, Best Buy