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Sears Kenmore Appointment Of Tom Park Points To Connected-Home Plans

Updated!Sears Holdings has named Tom Park president of its Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands business unit.

But his background, as former VP/general manager of Belkin’s Linksys division, suggests a connected-home future for the retailer’s flagship badges.

In a statement, Sears chairman/CEO Eddie Lampert underscored Park’s previous experience at Disney, where he variously served as finance director for the theme park, resort and real estate unit; VP/controller of the consumer products group; and president of its retail store division.

“Tom is a veteran in the consumer and business-to-business technology space,” Lampert said. “His experience at Disney, one of the country’s most treasured brands, in addition to his over 30 years of experience in sales, operations, sourcing and logistics, product management and finance, positions him well to serve as the steward of our brands as we continue to transform our company.”

But a cornerstone of that transformation, along with an emphasis on digital commerce, is a connected-home and services strategy, led in part by connected solutions and CE president Ryan Ciovacco.

It is unclear if Park’s mandate will continue to include an early Lampert effort to license the company’s private-label brands. Kenmore remains the nation’s No. 3 majap badge, according to TWICE market research partner The Stevenson Company, but continues to sustain market share declines along with Sears’ overall appliance business.

Park’s appointment comes amid a flurry of executive change at the retailer. He succeeds Michael Castleman, who left Sears last October, and will ostensibly work in tandem with Lynn Pendergrass, a former Johnson & Johnson and Hewlett-Packard senior exec who was named hardlines president in August.

Sears said she is “responsible for working across the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard business unit and its hardlines partners, including home appliances, lawn and garden, tools, and Sears Auto Centers.”

The retailer has also named former chief information officer Jeff Balagna president of Sears’ strategic home services unit, succeeding Arun Arora who left earlier this summer.

Former CE director James Coyle, whose white-goods purview overlaps with Balagna’s, continues to run Sears’ majap business as president of home appliances and commercial sales.