WANTED: A CEO to head up an antiquated department store chain owned by a micro-managing hedge fund boss who nearly ran the company into the ground.
Less than a week after staving off liquidation, Sears said it is gearing up for a new chief executive.
But experts say the job could be hard to fill given the litany of problems still facing the 125-year-old retailer owned by Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments.
One of those problems may be Lampert himself, Andrew Challenger of executive coaching and outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told The Post.
“A lot of people who might take the CEO role would want autonomy to make dramatic changes at Sears, but convincing that person that ESL or Lampert will give that autonomy is a big question,” Challenger said.
Even ESL concedes that it’s been tough to lure executives to Sears, which filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15, after years of watching shoppers flee its outdated stores for rivals like Amazon and Walmart.
“It’s been very difficult to recruit top talent, not only now but even pre-[bankruptcy],” ESL President Kunal Kamlani said during a court hearing on Feb. 6.
The new CEO is also expected to face lawsuits from angry creditors who claim they were stiffed by the retailer.