A Star In The Gloom At Sears

Philip J. Purcell is not the kind of guy to boast. Having launched his career as a consultant at McKinsey & Co., he learned early that tooting your own horn doesn't always win you applause. Purcell lets the facts speak for themselves when it comes to his company, Dean Witter Financial Services -- the brokerage and credit-card arm of Sears, Roebuck & Co. The trouble is, those facts lead to the only question that can really make him squirm: Given his sterling performance at Dean Witter -- and the sorry state of Sears' retail operations -- why isn't Phil Purcell running the show at Chicago's Sears Tower?

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