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The Detroit Free Press reports that Kmart let go more than a dozen managers holding senior vice president and division vide president titles, as it thinned its top ranks in preparation for emergence for bankruptcy protection next month. The company said that the entire senior management team was being evaluated, with a goal of eliminating between 25 and 35 percent -- or between 500 and 1,000 -- of the 2,900 positions at its Troy, Michigan, headquarters.

"As the company stated previously, we are reducing our corporate overhead to align with the reduced size of our store base and reflect the needs of the new Kmart, post emergence," Lori McTavish, a Kmart spokeswoman, told the Free Press.

As recently as a year ago, some 3,900 people worked at Kmart headquarters; at its peak, there were 5,000 employees there. Reports are that there is “general paranoia” among those who are left, as they wait to learn their fates.

Out in the field, Kmart has closed some 600 stores and fired 67,000 workers in its quest to remain viable.
KC's View:
Viable is one thing. Relevant is another. We’ll see…

But we’ll give the headquarters guys credit for at least being willing to make cuts in their own backyard.

We’ve been highly critical of upper management for looking after their own wages and benefits while not seeming to care about creating a differential advantage at store level or creating a system that empowers and rewards the employees who will make the stores work. And we remain highly critical…until we see a broad-based effort to establish a shopping experience that actually stands for something other than “we survived.”

We’re also curious to see how the various investigations into the activities of Kmart’s previous management turn out. Both the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have ongoing probes into their actions previous to bankruptcy.