Scott Price, the CEO of Walmart Asia, is stepping down from that role in June to assume a senior management position in the retailer’s real estate and mergers division. He will be based out of Bentonville, according to a company statement issued late Thursday (April 24).
Price is assuming the role being vacated June 1 by Judith McKenna who will become head of new store format development. This is a position created as Wal-Mart accelerates its small store format growth and experiments with other formats such as Walmart to Go and drive-thru pickup depots.
The two management changes trigger a ripple effect within the retailer’s Asian business unit. Greg Foran, who now serves as CEO of China, will move up to become CEO of Asia, replacing Price. Sean Clark, who has been the chief operating officer for Walmart China, will step into the CEO China role replacing Foran, the company said.
"These promotions allow us to tap into the extraordinary talent we have in our company, leverage their unique strengths to benefit the entire organization, and ensure continuity of leadership in China and the region," David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International, said in the statement. "While these moves highlight the internal talent we have at Wal-Mart, they also show how we are able to build global talent to meet the needs of the company wherever we operate."
Price joined Wal-Mart in 2009 as the CEO of Asia and he held similar roles for DHL Express and Coca-Cola prior to joining Wal-Mart.
"Over the past five years, Scott oversaw the success of our EDLP strategy in Japan, helped reset the China business for greater success and revamped our India operations. He also played a lead role for the industry as chairman of the National Center for APEC (NCAPEC)," said Cheesewright.
He said Foran’s step up is a logical move, given he has 30 years of global retail experience. He joined Wal-Mart in 2012 but grew his career in New Zealand and Australia with Woolworth’s supermarket division. His experience includes operations, merchandising, marketing and replenishment.
"Greg, Sean and their team laid a solid foundation and built a strong plan for Walmart China," Cheesewright said. "In his new role, Greg will be able to continue to guide our China growth plan as well as provide support and direction for our other Asia businesses."
Clarke has 15 years with Wal-Mart, which began with ASDA. He also served as chief financial officer in Japan and Germany before moving to Canada. Clarke also led real estate and strategy for Walmart Canada. Over the past two years as COO of Walmart China, Clarke oversaw operations, merchandise, logistics, marketing,information systems and asset protection.
"Sean has been a key contributor to our improved performance in China. His experience and background uniquely prepare him for this role and will ensure continuity for our progress in China," Foran said.
Walmart's Asia region serves customers through more than 870 stores and more than 150,000 employees serving customers in China, India and Japan.