Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Moneyball Math Head Joins Sears Board

Like many of you, I'm a baseball fan, and last year the movie MONEYBALL really tickled my fancy. It was the story of this young Harvard grad who said on-base percentage was a better stat than batting average. By picking up unwanted guys all over the league with good on-base averages but little else, the Oakland A's became one of the best teams in baseball back in the day. True story. Much fun.

Here's another true story: that "kid" just got named to Sears's board of directors. Huh? Here's the press release:

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) announced today the election of Paul DePodesta, vice president of player development and amateur scouting for the New York Mets, to membership on the Sears Holdings board of directors.

"We are pleased to add the strong analytical skills and talent assessment acumen of Paul DePodesta to our board of directors. As Sears Holdings continues the work of transforming and strengthening our company, we look forward to his leadership and contributions," said Sears Holdings Chairman Edward S. Lampert.

"Mr. DePodesta's ability to scrutinize data and use it to assess talent and drive execution makes him ideally suited to join our board."

Mr. DePodesta's unique approach in assembling Major League Baseball teams has transformed how teams evaluate, measure and value talent. Prior to joining the Mets, Mr. DePodesta was the executive vice president of the San Diego Padres, and the executive vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he became the third-youngest person to be named general manager in Major League history. Previously, he served as the assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics and began his baseball career with the Cleveland Indians.

He graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in economics.

Mr. DePodesta's election increases the number of Sears Holdings' directors to eight