Sears President And Services Chief Depart

Gone: Joelle Maher and Jeffrey Balagna
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Sears Holdings lost two senior-level execs last week.

Updated!Sears Holdings lost two senior-level execs last week.

Joelle Maher left the company after 17 months as president/chief member officer of the Sears division, and executive VP Jeffrey Balagna is gone as services group president.

The departures come in the heart of the critical holiday selling season, and in advance of Sears’ third-quarter earnings report, to be released on Thursday.

Losses swelled to $395 million last quarter, and the company faces a significant risk of default within the next one to two years, the Fitch rating service said in September.

Maher, previously COO of Gymboree, joined the company in July 2015. At the time, chairman/CEO Eddie Lampert cited her “depth and breadth of retail and business experience and ability to achieve superior results in established organizations.”

In a statement issued to TWICE, the retailer said “We appreciate Joelle’s service at Sears and wish her well her in future endeavors.” No successor was named.

Her departure was first reported by Business Insider.

Balagna joined Sears in 2013 from Eli Lilly as executive VP/chief information officer, and succeeded Arun Arora on an interim basis as president of home services two years later. That position was later assigned to Sean Skelley, while Balagna served as board chair for home services and Sears Auto Centers.

Sears has positioned home services as a critical element of an overarching connected-home strategy that also leverages its legacy Kenmore, Craftsmen and DieHard private-label badges. But last May it hired two investment banks to explore outside alternatives for its house brands and services business.

In a filing, Sears said Balagna left the company on Nov. 30 “in order to focus on his other business interests and pursue other career opportunities.”

But not all of the executive changes are exits. Last month Jason Hollar was promoted to chief financial officer, succeeding Robert Schriesheim who, like Balagna, left “to focus on his other business interests and pursue other career opportunities,” Sears said.

Related:Mnuchin Leaves Sears' Board For Trump Cabinet Post

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