HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. — Two major players in the appliance business have reorganized their majap senior management.
The moves, at Sears and Haier America, come amid heightening competition within the U.S. white-goods market.
Under Sears’ new structure, the company’s majap unit has been pinned to its home services operation, under the overall direction of Sears Home Services president Arun Arora.
Running the day-to-day majap business as president of home appliances and commercial sales is James Coyle. Coyle joined Sears last month from Amazon.com, where he most recently served as a CE director and category leader.
He reports directly to Arora, a corporate senior VP, who has since added home appliances to his services title. Arora joined Sears in April from Staples, where he was global e-commerce senior VP/general manager.
Michael Castleman remains president of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard business unit (KCD), and senior VP of Sears Holdings.
The naming of two e-commerce veterans to oversee majaps, and the category’s pairing with services, suggests a larger role for the online channel in Sears’ appliance plans, as it looks to staunch market share losses to the home improvement channel and a reinvigorated Best Buy.
Indeed, TWICE’s Top 100 Appliance Retailers Report, released last month, revealed that Sears has relinquished its long-held No. 1 slot to Lowe’s, following last year’s spin-off of its Hometown Stores business and weak white-goods comps.
In his new role, Coyle becomes Sears’ fifth appliance president in six years. He succeeds Steve Haber, a former Sony CE exec, who left last fall.
In a statement issued to TWICE, Sears said: “The home appliance business is critical to the overall success of Sears Holdings, and in order to continue driving competitive differentiation and leverage our strengths (such as service techs, consultative sales associates and the Kenmore brand), we have further integrated our home appliance team with our home services business.”
Separately, Haier America has added three new executives to its white-goods management team.