Kmart Fires 12 Execs, Consolidates

Bankrupt retailer Kmart Corp. (KM) Friday said it fired 12 executives and realigned its field organization for the second time in three months, shrinking it to two geographic divisions from five.

The announcement comes on the heels of the departure of Gregg Treadway, who was head of store operations for the discount retailer. Treadway left Kmart on Tuesday, only three months after he was tapped to head up the company's field organization.

At the time of Treadway's appointment, Kmart reduced the number of its operating areas from six to five.

Dave Marsico has been named president of Kmart's Eastern Division and Doug Meissner has been named president of the Western Division. Both are longtime Kmart employees and both will report to Julian Day, the retailer's chief operating officer.

The changes made on Friday affect logistics, real estate and merchandising, the retailer said.

"This new realignment will bring senior management closer to the business, reduce overhead and cut costs," James Adamson, Kmart chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Executives who were let go in the reorganization held positions such as general merchandise manager for food, senior vice president of real estate management and senior vice president of distribution centers. In most cases, the positions will not be replaced.

Kmart filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 22 after weak holiday sales and stiff competition from rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. left the retailer in a cash crunch. The company has said it would close 283 stores and lay off 22,000 of its 250,000 employees.

Since Kmart sought protection from creditors, it ousted former CEO Chuck Conaway and President Mark Schwartz, among others. Kmart's board of directors is currently investigating the way the company was run under Conaway.

Shares of Kmart closed off one cent to $1.16 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.