Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Sears Holdings is losing its third appliance chief in four years.
Dev Mukherjee, named majap president in 2010, is "transitioning out of the company," a Sears spokesman confirmed for TWICE. A successor is expected to be announced within the next few weeks.
Joe Tautges, VP, CFO and COO of Sears' home appliance division, will play an active role in the transition as Mukherjee winds down and a new manager is brought in, the spokesman said.
Mukherjee's successor will likely have "significant retail experience," the Sears spokesman suggested, pointing to recent senior management hires including former Best Buy, Toys "R" Us and Brookstone exec Ron Boire, who was named chief merchant and president of the Sears and Kmart formats in January.
Previously head of the retailer's toys and seasonal business, Mukherjee took the top majap spot two years ago following the departure of Doug Moore. Moore, a 17-year veteran of Circuit City, was appointed to the newly-created president post after long-time appliance head Tina Settecase left in 2008. He joined hhgregg last month as chief merchandising and marketing officer.
Mukherjee's departure comes as the company sheds stores and spins off businesses to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of a $2.4 billion fourth-quarter loss. However, Sears' white-goods unit improved during the period, CEO Lou D'Ambrosio told investors last month, outpacing the industry in unit and dollar volume and showing increases in margin rate and market share. The latter grew to 17.8 percent for the company's private-label Kenmore brand, he said.