NEW YORK — Already under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and in violation of numerous financial covenants, Spiegel Inc. on Friday turned to turnaround expert William Kosturos, a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal, to help it reverse its failing fortunes.

Kosturos was named chief restructuring officer and interim chief executive of the firm. As ceo, he will succeed Martin Zaepfel, who is retiring after a stormy tenure at Spiegel that began in July 2001 following his work as deputy chairman of Otto Versand GmbH, the German catalog giant that has controlling interest of Spiegel.

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