Sears Canada CEO Mark Cohen fired

Sears Canada has fired chairman and CEO Mark Cohen, citing 'strategic differences' over the direction of the business.

Sears Canada Inc. said on Thursday it has terminated the contract of chairman and chief executive officer Mark Cohen over "strategic differences" in the future direction of the business.

The department store chain's new president and CEO is Brent Hollister, a 35-year veteran of the company. Hollister had been serving as the company's president and chief operating officer since 2002.

Glenn Richter, the executive vice president and chief financial officer of parent firm Sears, Roebuck and Co. and a member of the Sears Canada board of directors, has been named chairman of Sears Canada.

"The Sears Canada board is confident that the company can achieve solid top-line growth with improved bottom-line performance," said Richter.

"That improvement will come through a focused, integrated plan to enhance our core department stores and a comprehensive off-mall strategy that leverages Sears Canada's tremendous product and brand strengths," he said.

"We have every confidence that Sears Canada can further enhance its leading position in the Canadian retail marketplace," Hollister said.

Cohen replaced former Sears Canada CEO Paul Walters in January 2001.

Shares of Sears Canada finished Thursday at $16.39, up 27 cents on the day.