Top Execs at Williams-Sonoma, Sears Leaving

The CEO of Williams-Sonoma and the vice chairman of Sears Holding Corp. this week announced that they’d be leaving their companies.

Ed Mueller, CEO of cataloger/retailer Williams-Sonoma, will retire July 14. He will remain a director of the San Francisco-based company, which includes the Pottery Barn and West Elm home furnishings brands.

Chairman Howard Lester will again assume the post of CEO. He had been CEO of Williams-Sonoma from 1979 to 2001.

The company also announced that Laura Alber, president of Pottery Barn Brands, would also assume the responsibilities of president of the company, a newly created position. Sharon McCollam, executive vice president/chief financial officer, has been promoted to executive vice president/chief operating and chief financial officer. And Dean Miller, senior vice president, global logistics and sourcing, has been promoted to executive vice president/ chief supply chain officer.

Alan Lacy, who as CEO/chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Co. was responsible for the company’s acquisition of apparel and home goods cataloger Lands’ End–as well as for selling Sears to Kmart last year to create Sears Holding–will step down on July 29. He will also be resigning from the boards of Sears and Sears Canada.

Lacy was CEO of Sears from 2000 until September 2005, when he was replaced by Kmart CEO Aylwin Lewis. Edward Lampert, who’d brought Kmart out of bankruptcy, had made himself chairman of the combined company following the acquisition.