Kmart Corporation (NYSE: KM) today announced the promotion of Ron Lalla, 42, to the position of Senior Vice President, Global Operations, effective immediately. Reporting directly to Cecil Kearse, Executive Vice President, Merchandising, Lalla will be responsible for Kmart's Far East operations, global sourcing and quality assurance areas of the company.
Lalla joined Kmart in 1994 and has held positions of increasing responsibility throughout his career, most recently as Vice President, Business Development. Prior to joining Kmart, he held planning and analysis positions in Canada.
"Ron Lalla's two decades of strong financial and merchandising experience in both the United States and Canada have positioned him well to lead our efforts in reducing our overseas production and distribution cycle times, improving the quality of our globally manufactured product, building stronger vendor relations and capitalizing on new market and global opportunities within the international components of our supply chain," said Kearse.
Lalla replaces Tony Vaal, 57, Vice President, Global Operations, Corporate Brands and Quality Assurance, who will retire April 30, 2001.
"Tony has been a valued member of the Kmart team for 34 years and has helped ensure that Kmart has maintained its leadership in global sourcing, quality assurance and retailing. We thank him and wish he and his family a long, wonderful and healthy retirement," Kearse said.
In related moves effective immediately, Chris Cielak, 46, has been promoted from Operations Vice President, Systems Implementation to Vice President, Store Operations Administration replacing Lalla. In this position, she will be responsible for all store administrative functions, including communications, payroll and expense control, best practices, systems and training, and corporate facilities management. A 30-year Kmart veteran, Cielak has progressed through the ranks of store and regional positions and has held positions in store system development/procedures and store operations.
Additionally, Charley Thompson, 41, has been promoted to Divisional Vice President, Global Sourcing, reporting to Lalla. An 18-year Kmart veteran, Thompson has held positions in the merchandising organization as a buyer and director of product development. As director of softlines sourcing, he spent three years in Hong Kong. He also has served as director of human resources and director of project management, both in support of the merchandising group.
Kmart Corporation is a near-$40 billion company that serves America with more than 2,100 Kmart and Kmart supercenter retail outlets. In addition to serving all 50 states, Kmart operations extend to the Caribbean Islands and Asia Pacific. More information about Kmart is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.bluelight.com/ under the "About Kmart" section.
SOURCE: Kmart Corporation
Contact: Mary Lorencz, Director, Corporate Media Relations of Kmart