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10: Maureen McGuire

Exec VP-chief marketing officer, Sears Holdings Corp.

Published on .

POWER PLAY: Nearly a year after her appointment, Maureen McGuire, a former IBM marketer, is overseeing the daunting task of creating synergy between two stalwart American retail brands-Sears and Kmart. That goal for now remains elusive. Ms. McGuire has made her mark with new hires and rebuilding the marketing departments at both retailers, including hiring Bill Stewart from Levi Strauss & Co. as Kmart CMO.

DOWNSIDE: Macy's move to a national brand promises to steal share from middle-income Sears customers. Meanwhile, discounters like Target and Wal-Mart are beefing up their home goods offerings. There's the challenge from Lowe's and Home Depot in the home appliances category, for decades indisputably dominated by Sears, but a position that increasingly looks vulnerable.

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