NEW YORK — Playing catch up on the technology front, Kmart Corp. named Joseph A. Osbourn senior vice president and chief information officer.
The position, effective Oct. 1, is a critical one in Kmart’s quest to become more competitive against Wal-Mart and Target, which each have superior information systems, according to retail sources.
Osbourn was vice president of information systems at Walt Disney World, responsible for all business systems. He was with Disney for 10 years.
At Kmart, he moves into a slot that has been open for about a year, since Donald Norman joined Harrods in London.
He will report to Michael Bozic, vice chairman.
“His strategic understanding of the role that technology and systems can play in inventory management, electronic commerce, customer satisfaction and other business applications will help us enhance productivity and innovation at Kmart,” Bozic said in a statement Tuesday.
“The key [at Kmart] is to get technology to be in that service role so that there are better inventories, faster reorders and the right markdowns in order to service the customers more effectively,” said Eric Segal, president of Kenzer Corp., the executive search firm that placed Osbourn at Kmart.
Another source said, “Kmart must get their systems to the point where they can be competitive with Wal-Mart, Target and some of the other retailers with the best systems.”