Lead Marketers Exit Sears, Verizon

Two high-profile female marketing executives left their jobs yesterday, with Jerri DeVard resigning her role at Verizon, and Joan Chow leaving Sears.

DeVard said she would leave her post as senior vice president-brand management and marketing communications at Verizon at the end of the month, a Verizon spokesman said, because of the grueling reverse commute to its New Jersey headquarters.

"She tried the commute for close to a year, and just found it was too much," he said, adding that it was too soon to speculate whether her departure would spark any reorganization of her marketing group.

He also said it was too early to comment on any changes in the marketing plans overall at Verizon, following the appointment of John Stratton to the new post of executive vice president/chief marketing officer of Verizon Communications, which began Jan. 1.

Chow's departure as CMO comes a week after the announcement of dismal sales results for Sears stores, with same-store sales declining 5.6% in the holiday period.

A Sears spokesperson confirmed that Maureen McGuire, the executive vice president-chief marketing officer for Sears Holdings, will assume those responsibilities, while a full search is conducted for Chow's replacement.

Bill Stewart is the senior vice president-chief marketing officer for Kmart.

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