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Sears’ Koken Joins Best Buy

Minneapolis — CE retailing veteran Tasso Koken has left Sears for Best Buy.

Koken, previously Sears’ VP/general merchandise manager of home electronics, joined the No. 1 CE specialty chain as merchandising senior VP, effective this week.

In his new role, Koken reports to Ron Boire, Best Buy’s executive VP and general merchandise manager.

No successor was named at Sears. In the interim, Sears’ consumer electronics team will report directly to Daniel Laughlin, senior VP/merchandising officer for hard lines.

“Tasso is a proven leader with the ability to build strong teams and foster long-term alliances with key vendors,” said Boire. “He will be a valuable, seasoned addition to our leadership team. His experience and proven performance, combined with strong personal character, make him a valuable asset to Best Buy as we continue to deliver enhanced experiences to our customers in ways that match their lifestyles and priorities.”

While at Sears, Koken managed all aspects of strategic planning, vendor relations, marketing, merchandising, financial planning, and training and development for the retailer’s electronics and entertainment division.

Prior to joining Sears, Koken was president of Dreamfield Associates, a consulting group. Before that he was chief merchant of Nobody Beats The Wiz, the storied New York metro area CE specialty retailer that operated 44 stores at its peak. The chain was acquired in a 1998 bankruptcy sale by Cablevision Systems, where Koken had served as executive VP/merchandising and marketing. Cablevision credited Koken with leading the unit out of Chapter 11, but the business later succumbed to encroachment by national chains and the soft post-9/11 retail environment and was shuttered in 2003.