Sears Shareholders to Hear New CEO's Sales Plan

Sears tumbled 5 percent in premarket trading Tuesday after the retailer warned of a bigger-than-expected loss as sales of appliance, clothing and consumer electronics slide.


Sears' new CEO will face shareholders later in the day to detail what plans he has to revive sales at its long-struggling stores.

Lou D'Ambrosio makes a presentation at the annual meeting of Sears Holdings Corp less than 10 weeks after his appointment to the top post. Also making his yearly public appearance will be the company's billionaire Chairman Edward Lampert, who has been unable to turn Sears around in six years at the helm.

The 46-year-old D'Ambrosio was CEO of telephone and computer software company Avaya from 2006 to 2008 before stepping down for medical reasons. He earlier spent 16 years at IBM , holding executive posts in sales, software and global services.

He took over Sears' top executive post from interim CEO W. Bruce Johnson.

This is the first time the company has had a permanent CEO since Aylwin Lewis stepped down in February 2008. Shareholders would like to see signs that it marks a turnaround point for the owner of Sears and Kmart stores.

With Sears' tailspin having lasted more than a decade, investors clearly are skeptical. Shares in the company, which entered Tuesday's trading at $84.07 , have declined slightly since D'Ambrosio was announced as CEO and are down 30 percent from a year ago.

Sears' annual revenue fell 2 percent in 2010 to $43.3 billion, and the key metric of revenue from stores open at least a year sank 1.6 percent. Results from Kmart stores have begun to improve, but the Sears chain is still lagging.

Moody's Investors Service last month downgraded its outlook for Sears to stable from positive, saying the company's revenue is moderating and its profit margin shrinking.

Before the market opened, company shares fell $4.18 to $80 apiece.

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