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  • Andrea Lillo

Kmart starts at the top with executive changes

Andrea Lillo, Staff Staff -- Home Textiles Today, January 21, 2002

After being battered by Wall Street over the last few weeks and facing continuing financial and operational challenges, Kmart made sweeping management changes last week, naming James Adamson chairman, replacing Chuck Conaway, who retains his ceo title. In addition, the company has announced that Mark Schwartz, the president and coo who joined in September 2000, is no longer with the company.

Adamson has been elected non-executive chairman and will serve as the principal liaison between the board and the company's senior management as the company continues to review its current and prospective liquidity position and business plans for 2002 and 2003.

The retailer also said that it is continuing discussions with its lenders regarding existing and possible supplemental financing facilities.

"We appreciate the loyalty Kmart has received from our customers and the continuing support shown by many of our vendors and other business partners," Conaway said.

"Along with the other Kmart directors, I am pleased that Jim Adamson has agreed to provide his counsel and unique perspective at this critical time," Conaway continued. "His extensive experience in retail and in managing change at companies undergoing massive transformation is a resource that we believe will be invaluable to our senior management team. We are looking forward to working closely with him."

Adamson has been a member of the board since 1996, serving on the audit and finance committees. He is the former chairman, president and ceo of Advantica Restaurant Group, one of the largest restaurant companies in the United States which he joined in 1995. He also served as president and ceo of Burger King and held senior executive positions at Revco and Target.

"It has been my privilege to serve on the Kmart board since 1996, and during that time I have developed high regard for the company's loyal and hard-working people, who remain among its most valuable assets," Adamson said. "I am looking forward to working with them and contributing what I have learned through my past experiences, as we take steps to address the company's current financial and operational issues."

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