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Kmart Corp. named company president Julian Day to also serve as CEO, replacing James Adamson in that post. Adamson remains as the company’s chairman as the company moves toward emerging from bankruptcy protection on or about April 30.

Day, a Sears veteran, joined Kmart last March as president and COO.

Over the weekend, the company also fired the five remaining executives who received millions in retention loans just months before the retailer filed for bankruptcy protection. Kmart also demanded that all 25 recipients of loans from the company repay the $28 million that they received during the tenure of former CEO Charles Conaway.

"The company felt it was important to put the controversy surrounding employees involved in the special retention loans behind it as the company prepares to emerge from Chapter 11," chairman James B. Adamson said in the statement. "We are confident that there will be an orderly transition and will now focus our efforts on establishing an emergence management team."

Kmart announced last week that it will close more than 300 stores as it seeks to return to profitability. It plans to file a reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court on January 24.
KC's View:
We agree that Kmart has to do everything possible to separate itself from the previous management…but this only helps (maybe!) with the stock market.

The biggest question is how consumers will react to Kmart, and we don’t think they give a damn who the CEO is or how many people got loans. Our friend Glen Terbeek (who seems to be getting referenced a lot on MNB today) likes to say that customers care a lot more about a store’s cashier than a store’s CEO. And except for the fact that Kmart is going to have fewer cashiers because of the 500+ stores it will have closed in a very short period of time, we see little or no evidence that the ones who remain are going to have an attitude adjustment.