Sears auto biz: Miller new prez, Finney gone

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(Tire Business file photo by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk) Sears is reportedly shopping its auto center operation for a buyer.
(Sears Holdings photo)
Norman Miller, president, Sears Automotive

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (Feb. 4, 2014) — Sears Holdings Corp. has hired Norman Miller, president and COO of Dollar Financial Corp., to be president of its automotive business, including Sears Auto Centers, filling a position vacated at year-end 2013 by Joe Finney.

Mr. Miller, who will also be a senior vice president of Sears Holdings, will be responsible for the oversight and leadership of the company's automotive business, which Sears identified last September as a business it might divest.

"Norman is a proven executive whose operations, management and sales experience make him an ideal fit to lead the transformation of Sears Auto Centers," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO.

"His deep expertise in driving the development and execution of growth and sales strategy for large, complex organizations makes him a strong addition to our team."

Mr. Miller's hiring comes just three months after Sears announced it is evaluating divesting its Sears Auto Center and Lands' End businesses as part of a strategy to "improve our financial flexibility and accelerate our transformation into a leading 'integrated retailer.'"

Sears operates 758 Sears Auto Centers throughout the U.S., most integrated with its Sears retail stores.

(Tire Business file photo) Joe Finney left his job as president of Sears Automotive Group and a senior vice president of Sears Holdings at year-end 2013 to become CEO of Arrow Environmental Services and operating partner at Concentric Equity Partners.

Mr. Finney is now CEO of Florida-based Arrow Environmental Services Inc. and operating partner at Concentric Equity Partners, according to his LinkedIn page.

Sears did not comment on the reasons for Mr. Finney's leaving.

The former Michelin North America Inc./Tire Centers L.L.C. executive was hired by Sears in August 2010 to be president of Sears Automotive Group and a senior vice president of Sears Holdings.

Mr. Miller has been president of Dollar Financial since June 2013 and COO since 2007. Prior to his time with Dollar Financial, Mr. Miller was group president, Sports and Entertainment unit, at Aramark Corp., where he worked from 1997 until 2007.

He also was president of the company's Correctional Services unit from 2002 to 2003.

His career also includes nine years with Nestle, Kraft General Foods and PepsiCo, serving in management positions in sales, marketing and operations.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

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