Lampert To Take Helm At Sears

Jan 8 2013 | 11:05am ET

Hedge fund billionaire Edward Lampert is taking over Sears Holdings, the retail giant his hedge fund acquired eight years ago.

Lampert will become Sears' CEO as the department store chain struggles to revive its fortunes. Sales continue to fall and the company said last year it would close 120 stores.

Lampert, who took control of Sears in 2005 through a merger with Kmart, succeeds Lou D'Ambrosio. D'Ambrosio is reportedly leaving Sears in part due to a family member's medical condition.

ESL Investments' ownership of Sears has been sharply criticized for its failure to invest in the chain's stores. Lampert defended himself, noting, "we couldn't invest in everything." But, he said, he would encourage Sears to "take bigger and more creative risks" with the cash made available by closing poor-performing stores.

"There's a very big difference between being a CEO of a company and a shareholder or chairman of a company," Lampert said.

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