Calvin McDonald leaves as retailer continues to attempt revival.
In a surprising new development, Sears Canada has announced that its CEO Calvin McDonald is leaving the company. McDonald, a former executive at Loblaw, spent two years at Sears working to revive the ailing retailer by focusing on the so-called “hero” categories of appliances and apparel. Under his watch the retailer sold leases to several high profile stores (paving the way for Nordstrom’s entry into Canada).
Sears has been struggling as it loses market shares to a host of rivals and is being squeezed in the middle of the market. At the lower end it has encountered intense competition from discounters Walmart and Target (which has been rolling out stores across Canada), and at the higher end to a newly resurgent Hudson’s Bay.
McDonald is being replaced by former Sears COO Douglas C. Campbell, who first joined Sears in March 2011. He is a former principal with Boston Consulting Group and has experience in many sectors including retail, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.
"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," commented Campbell. "I am eager to move us forward, to work closely with our management team and to continue to engage our customers and our 25,000 associates to better serve families and communities across Canada."
The Globe and Mail is reporting that McDonald’s departure is tied to a disagreement with Edward Lambert, the chief shareholder of the US parent company Sears Holdings Corp. over the pace of change. McDonald is leaving for a position with an undisclosed international company.