Walmart U.S. to cut 10% of local tech division jobs, Sam’s Club also cutting staff

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 15,135 views 

Retail giant Wal-Mart in its re-organization of the Walmart U.S. technology division is eliminating around 300 jobs in the Information Systems Division (ISD).

Insiders said the retailer is laying off about 10% of its ISD workforce over the next few days. The layoffs at ISD in Bentonville began this week and are expected to continue through the month.

Impacted employees said they received an email to report to a training room on Tuesday (April 4) where they were told their jobs were being eliminated in the company’s efforts to restructure. The layoffs appear to be across-the-board and include officers. Wal-Mart corporate spokesman Randy Hargrove told Talk Business & Politics-Northwest Arkansas Business Journal they were not targeted at older or longer-term employees – as was often suggested on social media – but based on the company’s ongoing efforts to streamline operations.

“As we said in January, to fuel our growth and our investments we have to manage our costs and our capital decisions with discipline. This means we will continue to find ways to operate more efficiently and effectively, true to our cost-conscious heritage. In order to achieve this, from time to time you’ll see the company eliminate positions in an effort to stay lean and fast. In some areas, we’ll invest in new positions but in other cases, we’ll operate more efficiently and work to change our processes and become more digital to change the work itself,” Hargrove said on Wednesday.

Impacted employees said they will remain on the payroll for 60 days and may apply for other jobs with the retailer. After the 60 days, a severance package will be provided to those who have not found other jobs.

Insiders told Talk Business & Politics-Northwest Arkansas Business Journal that within the ISD division, the project management team took the biggest hit. Other jobs are being outsourced to a third-party vendor based in India which already does business with Walmart ISD. Still other jobs are being reduced from full-time to part-time and posted as temporary positions.

“Outsourced/offshored that you’ve been told is not correct … Also, if anything, our focus is on having a higher ratio of full-time associates doing actual engineering and software development, which gets back to the point I mentioned about looking at the business and investing in areas as necessary,” Hargrove said.

Walmart U.S. eCommerce CEO Marc Lore announced a restructuring of the division on Jan. 31, which impacted around 200 division jobs. The jobs cut this week are on top of that announcement, and is on top of the 1,000 corporate jobs slashed by the retailer prior to Jan. 31.

At the time of the corporate cuts, Wal-Mart Stores CEO Doug McMillon said, “To deliver the changes we ultimately want customers to see on the outside, we have to change on the inside. We need more speed and less bureaucracy. We need lower costs.”

Sam’s Club is also streamlining its home office personnel with meetings being held Wednesday (April 5) and Thursday. Sam’s also eliminated all of its club auditors this week.

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