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Sears hires Manto as sourcing guru

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears, Roebuck and Co. has named former J.C. Penney executive Rodney Birkins Jr., to the post of senior vice president of sourcing, effective Sept. 1.

He will report to Gwen Manto, executive vice president and general manager, apparel. Birkins will oversee all sourcing, international buying operations and technical design efforts for Sears.

"Rodney is a proven leader with key industry knowledge and a reputation for achieving results," Manto said. "His expertise in global sourcing, international operations and emerging markets will play a key role at Sears as we take our apparel business to the next level."

Birkins most recently served as president of the international purchasing and import subsidiary of J.C. Penney Company, Inc., responsible for the company's sourcing operations including 31 international offices. He brings nearly 30 years of retailing, merchandising and sourcing experience to Sears from his career at J.C. Penney.

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