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Big changes at Kmart

TROY, MI -Kmart Corp. has announced several executive appointments, including the promotion of Ron Lalla to the position of senior vp, global operations, effective immediately. He will replace Tony Vaal, who will retire April 30.

Reporting to Cecil Kearse, executive vp, merchandising, Lalla will be responsible for Kmart's Far East operations, global sourcing and quality assurance areas.

Lalla joined Kmart in 1994 and has held positions of increasing responsibility throughout his career, most recently as vp, business development.

"Ron Lalla's two decades of strong financial and merchandising experience in both the U.S. and Canada have positioned him well to lead our efforts in reducing 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.

As a result of Lalla's promotion, Chris Cielak has been named vp, store operations administration, from her position of operations vp, systems implementation.

In addition, Charley Thompson has been promoted to division vp, 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.

In other company news, Kmart has announced the promotion of Kevin Phillips, to senior vp, store operations, from his position of senior vp, Southwest division, effective immediately. Rose Reza will succeed him as senior vp, Southwest division.

Reporting directly to Mark Schwartz, executive vp, store operations, Phillips will be responsible for the operations of the retailer's four geographic divisions.

Before joining Kmart in 2000, Phillips served in several high-level positions at Office Depot, including executive vp, international retail. He has also held operations positions with Rickel Home Center and Child World.

Reza was also named senior vp of the Southeast division, reporting to Phillips.

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