William B. Underwood Appointed Executive Vice President, Kmart Sourcing and Global Operations Julian C. Day, President and Chief Operating Officer, To Lead Food and Consumables Business
TROY, Mich., June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Kmart Corporation (NYSE: KM) today, as part of a reorganization of its Merchandising operations, announced the appointment of William D. Underwood as Executive Vice President, Kmart Sourcing and Global Operations, effective immediately.
James B. Adamson, Kmart Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: "As we continue to focus on strengthening Kmart's financial and operating performance, it is important that we take a hard look at all aspects of our business and the leadership driving it. We are very pleased to announce that Bill Underwood is returning to the company to assume a key position in the organization. We are truly fortunate to be able to tap into his extensive knowledge of Kmart's operations and many contacts in the vendor and sourcing communities worldwide. Having Bill focused on execution, the consumer will ultimately benefit."
Underwood, 61, will have responsibility for Kmart's sourcing operations worldwide including product specification and quality assurance, and vendor relations. He will report directly to Adamson. This newly created position will enable Kmart to be extremely competitive in sourcing product for hardlines and softlines, improving gross margins and providing enhanced quality for Kmart customers.
In the interim, Underwood is also assigned responsibility for the entire Kmart Merchandising function, with the exception of food and consumables. As part of a forthcoming reorganization of Kmart's merchandising operations, Cecil B. Kearse, Executive Vice President of Merchandising, has left the Company.
Also effective immediately, Julian C. Day will begin to oversee the Food & Consumables business and the strategic partnership with the Fleming Companies.
Adamson said, "Julian's expertise in the Grocery industry with Safeway Stores allows Kmart to tap into his extensive knowledge of the food business and grow this important component of our strategy."
Adamson said, "In his nearly 40 years at Kmart, Bill Underwood earned an outstanding reputation inside the company and among our vendors and suppliers for his integrity, dedication and energy. I am pleased that he has agreed to return to Kmart at such a critical time in the Company's history. I have no doubt that he will make many important contributions to Kmart's future success."
Underwood first joined Kmart in 1962, when it was still known as the S.S. Kresge Company. After serving as a management trainee in Joliet, IL, he rose through the ranks of store operations, eventually serving as district manager of the Midwest region.
In 1978, Underwood joined Kmart's merchandising operations as a buyer. He subsequently held senior merchandising roles for men's and boy's wear and later for hardlines. In 1994 he was named Senior Vice President, Vendor and Product Development and in 1997 was promoted to Senior Vice President, Global Sourcing. Underwood served most recently as Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Corporate Brands and Quality Assurance before retiring from Kmart in May of 1999.
Kmart Corporation is a $36 billion company that serves America with more than 1,800 Kmart and Kmart SuperCenter retail outlets and through its e-commerce shopping site, http://www.bluelight.com/ .
Safe Harbor Statement
The foregoing, as well as other statements made by Kmart, may contain forward-looking statements regarding Kmart. They reflect, when made, the Company's current views with respect to current events and financial performance, and are and will be, as the case may be, subject to many risks, uncertainties and factors relating to the Company's operations and business environment which may cause the actual results of the Company to be materially different from any future results, express or implied, by such forward-looking statements. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the Safe Harbor created by Section 27(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. The words and phrases "expect", "estimate", "anticipate" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability of the Company to continue as a going concern; the ability of the Company to operate pursuant to the terms of the DIP facility; court approval of motions prosecuted by the Company from time to time; the ability of the Company to develop, prosecute, confirm and consummate one or more plans of reorganization with respect to the chapter 11 cases: risks associated with third parties seeking and obtaining court approval to terminate or shorten the exclusivity period for the Company to propose and confirm one or more plans of reorganization, for the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee or to convert the cases to chapter 7 cases; the ability of the Company to obtain trade credit, and shipments and terms with vendors and service providers for current orders; the Company's ability to maintain contracts that are critical to its operations; potential adverse developments with respect to the Company's liquidity or results of operations; the ability to fund and execute its business plan; the ability to attract, retain and compensate key executives and associates; and the ability of the Company to attract and retain customers. Other risk factors are listed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including, but not limited to the quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended November 27, 2001. Kmart disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward- looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE: Kmart Corporation
CONTACT: Kmart Media Relations, +1-248-463-1021
Web site: http://www.bluelight.com/