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Campbell to lead Sears Canada as CEO McDonald resigns

TORONTO — Douglas Campbell has been named president and CEO of Sears Canada following the resignation of Calvin McDonald. He was also named to the multi-channel retailer's board of directors.

In a statement, the company said McDonald, who also resigned from the board, left "to pursue an opportunity with a leading international company."

However, at least one business newspaper described McDonald's departure as "a surprise" considering he left before completing his transformation of the struggling retailer - something that is raising more questions about Sears Canada's ability to survive in this country's increasing difficult marketplace.

The Globe & Mail reported that McDonald's departure was sparked over differing views with parent company Sears Holdings, which is controlled by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert. The newspaper said the disagreement was tied to "the pace at which capital was being deployed to keep the momentum of the transformation going."

Campbell joined Sears Canada in March 2011 and was named chief operating officer in November 2012. Earlier, he was a principal with Boston Consulting Group.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead a company with such a great brand and history, and to continue to improve the performance of Sears," Campbell said.

Under McDonald, Sears Canada launched a transformation strategy that saw the publicly held retailer focus on what he called "hero" product categories. These were lines where Sears traditionally had a dominant position and could either regain or build on it. Among these categories were mattresses and major appliances.

In the past 10 months or so, Sears unveiled its largest Sears Home store in Ottawa and launched the banner's next generation with renovated stores in Whitby and Ancaster, Ontario. It also opened its largest Sears Hometown store in Orillia, Ontario, which also focused on furniture, mattresses and appliances as well as seasonal big ticket items.

"Doug's disciplined approach has been instrumental in managing costs and driving efficiencies," Sears Canada Chairman William C. Crowley added. "We look forward to his leadership as we continue to improve profitability across the business. We believe that the future remains bright for a more focused and competitive Sears Canada."

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