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Former Eli Lilly exec heads to Sears

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings has appointed former Eli Lilly CIO Jeff Balagna as its new EVP and CIO. In his new role, Balagna will be responsible for all technology and infrastructure initiatives for the company in its support centers and in-store.

"Jeff is a proven executive with an analytical approach and experience in transforming complex organizations in rapidly evolving industries," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings' chairman and CEO. "Innovation and technology are cornerstones in Sears Holdings' efforts to build lasting relationships with our Shop Your Way members, and Jeff's deep expertise in information technology infrastructure, customer loyalty programs and leveraging IT as a business-enabler make him a strong addition to our team."

"Sears Holdings is at the forefront of leveraging technology and 'big data' initiatives to better understand and build its relationships with members. I welcome the opportunity to advance these efforts in support of our stores and associates," added Balagna.

Prior to Eli Lilly, Balagna spent more than five years with Carlson Companies in various capacities, including serving as CEO of Carlson Marketing, where he led the successful sale of the customer loyalty marketing company to Groupe Aeroplan, a $2 billion global marketing company. He stayed at Groupe Aeroplan to coordinate transition and integration activities, which were successfully completed in August 2011. Previously, Balagna also served as CIO and SVP at Medtronic Inc. for five years, and in increasing senior leadership positions at GE Medical Systems Americas and Ford Motor Company.

Balagna received a bachelor of science degree in computer science and engineering from Oakland University in Detroit, Mich.