Sears Dumps E-Commerce Chief

Maybe Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD), parent of Sears and Kmart, had a rough holiday in terms of e-commerce sales. The company’s management may never say. For some reason, though, the huge retailer either pushed its e-commerce chief out the door or he left of her own accord. Since nothing was said about his departure, the former may be more likely.

According to a filing with the SEC:

On December 17, 2014, Imran Jooma resigned as Executive Vice President and President, Online, Marketing, Pricing and Financial Services of Sears Holdings Corporation, effective February 6, 2015.

Jooma’s job is important enough that he is listed as one of the most senior executives at the company.

While CEO Eddie Lampert has a habit of pushing executives out the door, it is rare that one has gone so secretly.

Sears not only has to struggle with brick-and-mortar sales; it continues to be pressured by e-commerce leader Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), as well as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), at least. There is an army of other retailers that rely on online sales as well to offset falling store sales.

Sears is nothing if not desperate, as same-store sales and revenues plunge. For the quarter reported on December 4:

Sears Holdings Corporation announced financial results for its third quarter ended November 1, 2014 in line with the third quarter estimate provided on November 7, 2014. Net loss attributable to Sears Holdings’ shareholders was $548 million ($5.15 loss per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2014, compared to $534 million ($5.03 loss per diluted share) for the prior year third quarter. Domestic Adjusted EBITDA was $(296) million for the third quarter of 2014, compared to $(310) million in the prior year third quarter.

The retailer is running low on money. In September, Sears Holdings received a $400 million loan from Lampert’s hedge fund.

The problems at Sears are growing rapidly. Given the departure of its e-commerce head, those problems may extend to its online operations.

ALSO READ: Are Online Holiday Sales Up Enough?

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