Strategy

Riecker Named Sears’ Third CFO in Past Year

The retailer's current controller takes over as finance chief as it struggles to restructure through asset sales and store closures.
Matthew HellerApril 24, 2017
Riecker Named Sears’ Third CFO in Past Year

Sears has named Rob Riecker as its new finance chief, the third person to hold the position in the past year as the retailer struggles to implement a turnaround plan amid severe liquidity problems.

Riecker, currently Sears’ controller and head of capital market activities, replaces Jason Hollar, who resigned after only six months as CFO.

Sears announced Riecker’s promotion at the same time it disclosed it had raised its savings goal for this year from $1 billion to $1.25 billion, a target it hopes to reach by cutting some senior management positions, and closing 92 pharmacies in Kmart stores, along with 50 Sears Auto Centers.

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The company also noted that since the beginning of this year, it had “successfully executed numerous transactions to raise additional capital to fund its operations and continued transformation,” including completing the sale of its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black& Decker and generating $177.5 million from the real estate sales.

According to a news release, Sears is now reviewing bids in excess of $700 million on over 60 real estate properties.

But as Business Insider reports, Sears is now facing a looming payment in July from the maturation of a $500 million loan facility. And S&P Global Market Intelligence has identified Sears as the most vulnerable public retail company in the U.S., saying it has a 24% chance of default within a year.

With the departure of Hollar, the company has now lost five members of its senior executive team in the past four months. Hollar succeeded Robert Schriesheim as CFO in October 2016.

Riecker joined Sears in 2005 as assistant controller and served in various senior positions within the company’s finance organization. “Rob’s financial acumen, as well as his long-standing relationships with our vendor and lender partners, make him highly qualified for the role [of CFO],” Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said.

Sears expects net income to range between $185 million and $285 million in the first quarter of 2017. But Moody’s vice president and senior analyst Christina Boni said its “financial performance remains extremely weak, which is prompting the acceleration of cost reductions by an additional $250 million.”