BOSTON — Kmart Holding Corp. continues to rebuild its senior executive ranks.
The Troy, Mich., discounter said Monday it has hired former Home Shopping Network executive Paul Guyardo as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Guyardo will report to Kmart president and chief executive officer Julian Day.
Guyardo replaces Karen Austin, whose duties will shift from marketing to information technology. A Kmart spokeswoman did not know Austin’s new title and, at press time, could not provide further detail about whether the company still intends to hire a chief merchant, long perceived as a key hire.
At $2 billion TV retailer HSN, Guyardo focused on demographic targeting and positioning, skills Kmart will undoubtedly call upon in trying to carve out a niche market between rivals Wal-Mart and Target.
In a statement, Day said Guyardo will work closely with chief creative officer Lisa Schultz and chief apparel officer John Goodman “to communicate the considerable improvement in our stores, our products and particularly, our new fall apparel line.”
Also likely on Guyardo’s to-do list: redefining Kmart’s relationship with Martha Stewart to separate the person from the product. Until her indictment on charges related to securities fraud, Stewart fluffed pillows in the retailer’s TV ad campaigns for Martha Stewart Everyday products.
But the relationship has apparently frayed. Kmart recently charged Martha Stewart Omnimedia with inflating royalties by double-counting certain sales. MSO fired back statements contending Kmart was trying to use Stewart’s personal problems to pressure MSO into more favorable licensing terms.
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