The hedge fund billionaire will become CEO at the struggling department store chain Sears Holdings Corp, succeeding Lou D’Ambrosio, who headed up the company for around two years. Mr. D’Ambrosio’s departure was influenced by a close family member’s medical condition, people familiar with the matter said…”There’s a very big difference between being a CEO of a company and a shareholder or chairman of a company,” said Mr. Lampert, whose hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. controls 56.2% of Sears shares. But, he said, his longtime board seats at Autozone and AutoNation have taught him a lot about retailing. [WSJ]
Word is there’s some strange stuff going down on Mr. ESL’s watch. Five high up people have left just to go to Bloomberg alone in the past few months. He has in his head what a unit’s numbers should be, and if they come in better or worse he tells the unit head “You’re wrong, that’s not what I think it should be” and micro-manages based on his (false) sense of the numbers. Very strange, not trusting accountants’ numbers, no? Many people there are seriously questioning what’s going on.
Bill Ackman has finally persuaded his fellow hedgie Eddie Lampert to buy him out of Sears Canada for nearly double what he last offered. Bill has been calling Eddie a cheap SOB for over four years.
In 2006, Ackman successfully blocked Lampert’s attempt to buy his stake in Sears Canada on the cheap. At the time, Lampert, who controls the larger Sears Holdings, offered the measly sum of $18 a share (Canadian Dollars.)
Now, Lampert’s shelling out $30 a share (still in loonies,) or $560 million, for Ackman’s 17.3 percent stake.