NEW YORK — A management troika, constituting a newly created office of the president, will assume responsibility for Lands’ End after David Dyer retires from its parent, Sears, on Friday.
Dyer went to Sears in June 2002, following the retailer’s $1.8 billion acquisition of the direct marketer. He has held dual titles at Sears since then, serving as both president and chief executive officer of Lands’ End and executive vice president and general manager, customer direct, at Sears. In December 2002, he also became responsible for the activities of The Great Indoors.
The three individuals who will oversee Lands’ End after Dyer’s departure are: Mindy Meads, Sears’ vice president of merchandising and Lands’ End’s executive vice president of softlines; Lee Eisenberg, Lands’ End’s creative and administrative vice president, and Dennis Honan, chief operating officer of Lands’ End. The three, a Sears spokesman noted, are longtime Lands’ End employees and have experience with the brand.
Industry sources said that Sears is searching for someone to assist Meads. The Sears’ spokesman would only say that the company “has not made any announcement to that effect.”
As reported, Meads retained her duties as Lands’ End’s executive vice president of softlines when she was picked to succeed Kathryn Bufano as vice president of merchandising at Sears. Bufano left Sears on April 7.
The Sears spokesman said Meads will continue in her two roles as the apparel merchandising go-to person for both Sears and its Lands’ End operation.
According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Dyer inked an amended employment contract with Lands’ End on May 12, 2002, the day before Sears said it was purchasing the catalog company. The new agreement gave him a minimum annual base salary of $600,000. On the day of the announcement, Sears supplemented that agreement in a letter of understanding dated May 13 granting Dyer participation in Sears’ annual incentive plan. The plan gave Dyer an annual incentive opportunity of a minimum of $510,000, or a bonus target equal to 85 percent of his base salary. It could not be immediately determined when his contract with Lands’ End was set to expire.According to the Sears spokesman, Dyer is voluntarily leaving to spend more time with his family. “He notified ceo Alan Lacy that he was leaving as of Aug. 8. It is rare that a ceo of a publicly held company stays on following its acquisition. We’re delighted that he did and he was instrumental in the transition of Lands’ End into the Sears family,” the spokesman said.
Prior to joining Lands’ End, Dyer was an independent catalog/retail consultant for the Texas Pacific Group, an investment firm, and the J. Crew Group, an apparel retailer, from 1997 to 1998, according to Sears’ annual report filed in March with the SEC. That filing gave Dyer’s age as 53.
Elaine Hughes, an executive recruiter at the firm that bears her name, observed, “I’m not surprised that David is leaving. He likes to go into a company, do what he has to do to fix the business and then move on out.”
Separately, Sears’ wholly owned finance subsidiary Sears Roebuck Acceptance Corp. said Friday that it will call for redemption the entire outstanding principal amount of its $250 million in 7 percent notes due March 1, 2038. The redemption date is Sept. 1, 2003.
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