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Ward’s Names Robert Connolly Executive VP

CHICAGO -- Montgomery Ward has named Robert Connolly executive vice president for apparel.<BR><BR>Connolly succeeds Lester Ball, who left Ward's after 15 months with the company. A Ward's spokeswoman would say only that Ball's departure was...

CHICAGO — Montgomery Ward has named Robert Connolly executive vice president for apparel.

Connolly succeeds Lester Ball, who left Ward’s after 15 months with the company. A Ward’s spokeswoman would say only that Ball’s departure was “amicable.” Ball could not be reached for comment.

Connolly, who reports to Bernard F. Brennan, chairman and chief executive officer, will be responsible for men’s, women’s and children’s wear, intimate apparel, accessories, footwear and product sourcing.

This is the second time around for Connolly and Ward’s. From 1987 to 1989, he was Ward’s vice president and general merchandise manager for women’s apparel. He left to join Wal-Mart as general merchandise manager, overseeing women’s and intimate apparel, accessories, health and beauty.

A 23-year retail veteran, Connolly has also held positions with Sibleys and Carson Pirie Scott, Ward’s said.

“We are determined to make the apparel business a vigorous part of our total operation,” said Brennan in a statement, pointing out that apparel accounts for almost 30 percent of Ward’s volume. The company has been pursuing a two-pronged apparel strategy, developing national brands and proprietary brands.