By  on February 24, 2011

Sears Holdings Corp. late Wednesday appointed Lou D’Ambrosio, the former chief executive officer of Avaya Inc., as president and chief executive officer.

D’Ambrosio succeeds W. Bruce Johnson, who has served in those capacities on an interim basis and will become executive vice president of off-mall businesses and supply chain for the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer.

D’Ambrosio, who spent 16 years at IBM before moving to Avaya in 2002, will join Sears’ board, and Johnson will remain a director until the company’s annual meeting in May.

Edward S. Lampert, Sears’ chairman, said, “From the beginning of our ceo search, we were determined to find a leader with information and technology experience who could catalyze the transformation of our portfolio of businesses in the context of the evolution of the retail industry that is occurring more broadly. Having worked closely with Lou and observing his business acumen, compelling leadership style, performance orientation and customer-first approach, I am confident that Lou is the right person to lead and transform Sears Holdings.”

The new Sears ceo helped take Avaya private and left in 2008 for medical reasons. In the last six months, he has worked with Sears as a consultant to its board on “key strategic and operational initiatives.”

Johnson stepped in as interim ceo three years ago, succeeding Aylwin Lewis in that role. Lampert formed Sears Holdings through the acquisition of Kmart out of bankruptcy and its subsequent merger with Sears, Roebuck & Co.

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