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Sears CEO gets $7.15M in compensation

Sears’ new CEO, former technology executive Lou D’Ambrosio, will be paid a $1 million base salary, a $150,000 signing bonus, $6 million in restricted stock, a performance bonus potentially up to $2 million and will use a chartered aircraft to commute to Sears’ Hoffman Estates headquarters from his home in Philadelphia.

D’Ambrosio will get corporate housing and ground transportation while he’s here, and ground transportation between his home in Philadelphia and the airport for his travels to Hoffman Estates, according to a regulatory filing.

D’Ambrosio, 46, who has no retail experience but who worked with Sears for the past six months as a consultant to the board of directors, was instrumental in taking telecom company Avaya Inc. private in October 2007 in an $8.3 billion deal with two investment companies.

Sears Chairman Edward S. Lampert noted D’Ambrosio’s experience in taking a company private when he announced the CEO appointment on Feb. 24, leading retail observers to speculate that D’Ambrosio might do the same with Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company of Sears and Kmart.

D’Ambrosio is the first full-time CEO at Sears Holdings in three years, succeeding interim leader W. Bruce Johnson, who will become executive vice president of off-mall businesses and supply chain.

Sears reported last week that its fourth-quarter profit dropped 13 percent and that sales at Sears stores fell 4.5 percent from the year-ago period. Sales at Kmart stores in the quarter increased 2.5 percent. Lampert called the fiscal year 2010 results unacceptable, and wrote to shareholders in his yearly update that the retailer will continue to make changes in its leadership team to improve performance.

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