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Sears Canada CEO quits after less than a year


Sears Canada Inc. is looking for a chief executive officer again, following its announcement Thursday that Ronald Boire will depart at the end of this summer — less than a year after taking on the job.

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Boire stepped in last fall after previous Sears Canada CEO Douglas Campbell left the company in September after only about a year in the position.

Campbell got the job after the sudden departure of Calvin McDonald in September 2013 in the midst of a multi-year turnaround plan for the national department store chain.

Sears Canada says the chairman of its board of directors, Brandon Stranzl, will take on a greater leadership role immediately.

In the company’s first quarter, Sears Canada had a $ 59.1-million net loss for the first quarter as revenues dropped 9.7 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Stranzl says he will work closely with Sears employees and business partners as Sears Canada works to return to profitability.

“We are grateful for Ron’s support as we search for and welcome a new CEO,” Stranzl said in a statement. “In the meantime, the management team and I are fully engaged in executing the current strategy, designed to improve our retail operations so we can best serve Canadian communities from coast-to-coast.”

Last week, Desjardins analyst Keith Howlett issued a report saying Sears Canada has less than two years to prove itself.

“The next seven quarters are ‘make it or break it’ for Sears Canada,” Howlett wrote.

“Our current view is that an operating turnaround is improbable.”

Howlett’s prediction suggests the fate of the company will be determined some time around the 2016 holiday shopping season.

The company declined to comment on the Desjardins report.

TORONTO STAR | BUSINESS