WILLIS OUT AT KMART

NEW YORK — Just four months after joining Kmart Corp., the chain’s high-profile chief marketing officer, Brent Willis, is leaving “for personal reasons,” the company said Tuesday. His last day is May 7.
No successor was announced. The marketing and advertising departments will report to Mark Schwartz, Kmart president and chief operating officer.
“We understand and respect Brent’s decision to put his family first and are thankful for his many contributions to Kmart,” said Chuck Conaway, Kmart chairman and chief executive, in a statement. Conaway recruited Willis to Kmart, which has been rocked with several high-level executive changes over the past year.
Willis was front and center with the press and retail analysts when Kmart relaunched its $25 million BlueLight Special promotion April 1. BlueLight areas, discounting a single item periodically during the day, have been established chainwide. When he was hired last December, Kmart said Willis would help “galvanize a new emotional bond with shoppers.” Willis had been president of Coca-Cola’s operations covering most of Latin America.

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