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Kmart Corp. has named its new board of directors to guide the company after its expected emergence from bankruptcy later this month. The new board includes:

    • Edward Lampert, Kmart's biggest shareholder after bankruptcy reorganization, of ESL Investments.
    • William Crowley, president and COO, ESL Investments.
    • Thomas Tisch, a New York investor.
    • Steven Mnuchin, former CIO for Goldman Sachs.
    • E. David Coolidge III, vice chairman of a Chicago investment firm.
    • William Foss, a San Francisco attorney.
    • Ann Reese, a retired ITT chief financial officer.
    • Brandon Stranzl, a senior research analyst at Third Avenue Management.

Rounding out the board is Julian Day, Kmart’s president and CEO. All the nominees are subject to bankruptcy court approval.

Some analysts called the new board a “transitional board,” noting that because of Kmart’s precarious future, membership on a committee of people that is going to have to be very involved on a day-to-day basis was a hard-sell to big-name executives, public figures, and people with full-time jobs.
KC's View:
The biggest problem with this board is that while it is heavy with financial experience, there is precious little marketing experience. When was the last time any of these people actually was in a Kmart? Or any discount store or supermarket?

Financial expertise is fine. But understanding how to turn a big box into a compelling shopping experience is something else – and Kmart’s problems are in both areas.

We remain skeptical.