"I Do Preach Serendipity"

Arthur Martinez, retired Sears CEO, on his career path and its challenges, retirement, and the harsh outlook for retailing

Back in August of 1992, Arthur C. Martinez was heading off for a 10-day vacation at his summer home near Bar Harbor, Maine. Vice-chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue at the time, he was close to signing a deal to become the next CEO of P.A. Bergner, a Midwest department-store chain that needed someone to help pull it out of Chapter 11, and he figured that a few days' rest would do him good.

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