Sears Names Kasbe As New CIO

Two months after he found himself running through the streets of Mumbai, India, to escape the terrorist attack on that city, Timothy Kasbe has been appointed chief information officer at Sears Holdings Corp. Kasbe was CIO at Reliance Retail in India at the time of the Nov. 26, 2008, assault.

Kasbe, who spent more than 10 years in a retail practice at IBM before becoming the CIO at Reliance, is replacing former Sears CIO Karen Austin, who has been named to the newly created position of president of home electronics at Sears. Interim Sears CEO W. Bruce Johnson issued a statement in which he said Austin's new position is part of Sears' plan to grow the businesses that can differentiate Sears from its competitors.

The company where Kasbe worked prior to taking the Sears position, Reliance, is described in his online biography as the biggest retail chain in India, having grown to nearly 1,000 stores and 50 distribution centers after only two years of being launched as "a start-up in organized retailing" designed to create "a much-lacking distribution network across the country."

Kasbe, who has an MBA from Duke University, is deeply involved in the Global Orphan Care and Build-a-Village initiatives. He and his wife, Amber, helped arrange foster care programs for India's 40 million parentless and poor children.