Sears Roebuck & Co.'s credit card chief, Steven D. Goldstein, resigned abruptly after 19 months on the job, the retailer announced Friday.

Mr. Goldstein, 45, said he left to create a firm that will invest in Internet-based electronic commerce.

Alan J. Lacy, 44, who has been Sears' executive vice president and chief financial officer, will succeed Mr. Goldstein as president of Sears' credit division, the company said.

Under Mr. Goldstein's tenure, Sears' card portfolio grew steadily, but also saw more than its share of troubles. Earlier this year, Sears was sued for its efforts to collect payments from bankrupt people who had discharged their debts; the retailer agreed to pay more than $200 million in penalties and reparations.

And in the third quarter of this year, Sears' stock dropped sharply amid reports that the credit quality of its card portfolio had deteriorated.

According to Sears, credit card receivables increased by $4 billion, to more than $27 billion, under Mr. Goldstein's watch.

- Antoinette Coulton

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