Douglas Campbell has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Sears Canada Inc. after one year on the job.
The company said Campbell planned to return to the U.S. to “tend to personal family issues” and that a search for a successor will begin immediately.
Campbell was previously executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Toronto-based retailer, which is majority owned by Sears Holdings Corp. He succeeded Calvin McDonald as ceo. He joined Sears in 2011, following six years with Boston Consulting Group.
Sears said Campbell will continue as ceo until his successor is in place, but not beyond Jan. 1.
“I would like to thank Doug for his diligent leadership of the company, since 2012, and in particular as ceo,” said William Crowley, chairman of Sears Canada. He noted that the outgoing ceo “brought a focus on creating value for shareholders while taking the cost-efficiency and investment steps necessary to produce a viable and profitable Canadian retailer.”
Last year, Sears Canada boosted its net income to 446.5 million Canadian dollars, or $430.2 million, from 101.2 million Canadian dollars, or $101.4 million, while revenues fell 8.2 percent, to $3.99 billion Canadian dollars, or $3.85 billion, from 4.35 billion Canadian dollars, or $4.36 billion, in 2012. Same-store sales for the year, hurt by inclement weather in the fourth quarter, declined 2.7 percent. In Canadian dollars, sales have fallen 19.2 percent in local currency.
U.S. dollar values are calculated at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
Sears Holdings is exploring a sale of its 51 percent stake in the Canadian operation as well as sales of its real estate assets, which are among the company’s options for raising badly needed cash.
The U.S. company recently borrowed $400 million from affiliates of ESL Investments Inc., of which Edward Lampert, Sears chairman and ceo, is the sole stockholder. The loan is secured by a lien on 25 real estate properties owned by Sears.
Expansion into Canada has been a strategy embraced by U.S.-based department, specialty and discount stores, but the geographical diversification has been challenging for some. Target Corp. in May named Mark Schindele president of its fledgling Canada operation, which incurred greater-than-expected losses in its early stages last year. Target registered an operating loss of $941 million on sales of $1.3 billion last year.
Nordstrom last week opened its first Canadian unit, at the Chinook Centre in Calgary, and Saks Fifth Avenue, owned by Toronto’s Hudson’s Bay Co., has plans for openings, beginning with two stores in Toronto next year.